The M2 coupe is gearing up for a return that should reassert its position as the most fun of all BMW’s M cars and put clean air between it and the newly announced, and impressively rapid, M240i.
The 2022 M240i will have a solid 382 hp in North American trim (369 hp in Europe) and can hit 60mph in 4.1 seconds. How’s the new M2 going to assert its dominance? Keep reading and we’ll go through what we know so far.
Wider, Lower And Meaner
Like the rest of the new G42 2-Series range, the G87-code M2 switches to BMW’s more modern CLAR architecture used on vehicles like the 3-Series, and rides on a wheelbase that’s 51 mm (2-in.) longer than the old car’s.
With its muscular rear fenders, hood bulge and kicked-up decklid the new M240i already looks seriously mean, but the M2 will turn things up a notch with a wider track covered by pronounced fender flares. Nineteen-inch wheels should be standard, with the option of arch-filling 20s just a click away.
As our exclusive renders show, we can expect to see an aggressive rear trunk spoiler and a new bumper incorporating a diffuser and BMW M’s trademark exhausts. And unlike some rivals brands’ tailpipes, these won’t be fake trims.
The front end gets similar treatment, with exaggerated cooling intakes shaped even more aggressively than the M240i xDrive’s. But the big news is that unlike the new M3 and M4, the M2 won’t adopt BMW’s big portrait-shape kidney grilles. That alone might be a deal breaker for those wondering whether to buy an M2 or dig deeper for the M4, and are unsure about BMW’s new corporate face.
And don’t be misled by photos of a mystery M2-badged front bumper doing the rounds on the web recently. The too-small mounting point for the license plate, and completely different headlight cutouts mean there’s no way they’re the real deal. Our take is that these images are likely showing aftermarket bumpers from China, much like those ‘big mouth grille’ conversions for the mid-to-late 2000s E60 BMW 5-Series – see them here.
New Engine In Standard And Competition Guise
Now that the M240i is packing a hefty 382 hp and 369 lb ft courtesy of its single turbo B58 3.0-liter six, the M2 needs to seriously up its game. And it’ll do that by swapping the old twin-turbo 3.0-liter S55 engine for the newer, but also twin-turbo 3.0-liter, S58 used in the latest M3 and M4.
The new M2 needs to know its place in the BMW M hierarchy though, so the S58’s power will be dialed back a little. It’s too early to know by how much, but Autocar suggests the M2 will be available in regular and Competition guises in some markets, much like the M3 and M4, and speculates that the M2 could make 410 hp and the Competition 430 hp. That would represent a small gain on the current M2’s 405 hp output, but is way off the 473 hp and 503 hp on tap in the M4 and M4 Competition. Other sources suggest the M2 will get 450 hp, more of which later.
Manual And Auto ‘Box, Rear-Wheel Drive
Here’s where the M2 could really set itself apart from its M240i little brother. Initially, at least, the M240i comes only with xDrive all-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic transmission. A two-wheel drive version might be added later, but even that will probably come only with the slusher.
But the M2 goes down the driver’s car route, and will send its power to an active differential at the rear wheels via a choice of six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission. And if it follows the template laid down by the M3 and M4, only the base car will get the manual. The more powerful Competition version would only be available with the auto, which could be bad news for manual fans in markets like the UK, which only gets Competition-spec M cars.
We don’t know exact performance numbers at this point, but that doesn’t mean there’s not plenty to say. Because by making the M240i so rapid, BMW has made a bit of rod for its own back. Thanks to its xDrive traction the M240i can reach 60mph in just 4.1 seconds. That makes it exactly as fast as the base, manual M4 (the M4 Competition does it in 3.8 seconds).
If only to look good in the brochures, you’d imagine BMW will want the M2 to look like it accelerates faster than the M240i. But without xDrive traction it’s going to have a tough time doing it, and that’s before you consider the power to weight ratios.
A base rear-drive M4 with the optional automatic ‘box comes in at 8.1 lbs per hp, or 273 hp per tonne. The M4 Competition’s numbers are 7.7 lbs per hp and 285 hp per tonne. Let’s optimistically assume the M2 comes in at 200 lbs under the M4, which it almost certainly won’t. If the base car makes the 410 hp Autocar estimates, that would only give it 8.8 lbs per hp (249 hp/tonne), and the 430 hp Competition, 8.6 lbs per hp (257 hp/tonne), suggesting neither car might be able to duck below 4 sec to 60 mph.
Sounds like the pair will need more power. Our guess is the M2 Competition could end up with a similar 444 hp output to the old M2 CS, and possibly more (it could theoretically get the base M3’s 473 hp S58). And the regular M2, if there is one, will come in around 25-30 hp under.
But even if the M2 can’t out-accelerate the M240i xDrive to 60 mph, losing the all-wheel drive hardware will give it a much better weight distribution. The 3871-lb M240i xDrive carries 53.1 per cent of its mass in the front, but the the M2 should come in at least 140 lbs lighter and put around 51 per cent over the nose.
A More Premium And High-Tech Interior
Judging by BMW’s images, the interior of the 2022 2-Series (M240i shown above) borrows heavily from its 3-Series big brother, which means it’s going to be a much nicer place to sit. Trim quality has improved and you now get a digital instrument pack to go with the high-resolution iDrive 7 touchscreen media system, and a head-up display option for the first time.
The M2 won’t mess too much with that formula in standard trim. The steering wheel will feature BMW M red and blue stitching, and M1 and M2 buttons on the left and right spokes allowing you to store you favorite chassis and powertrain settings, as seen on the M4 pictured above.
And if BMW does indeed offer both base and Competition models, you’ll be able to option up the interior with carbon fiber accents for the steering wheel, dashboard and console (it’s a $950 option on the M4, but standard on the Competition).
Also likely to make an appearance on the options list are the M carbon bucket seats ($3,800 on the M4), a carbon exterior package, and potentially, carbon ceramic brakes.
M2 Goes Electric?
The M2 will be one of BMW M’s last cars before electrification kicks in, but according to UK’s Car Magazine, it’s also the basis for an incredible 1,341 hp one-off iM2 EV being readied for the 50th anniversary of BMW M in 2022.
That power output equates to one megawatt, and is alleged to be provided by four electric motors, giving Project Katherina the muscle to hit 62mph in less than 2.5 seconds, and duck below seven minutes at the Nürburgring. The car itself won’t reach production, but the technology will at a later date.
When Is It Coming, What Will It Cost?
Though BMW announced the regular 2-Series lineup this summer, it won’t arrive in showrooms until late 2021, and we’d expect the M2 reveal and delivery schedule to follow that pattern, but a year behind.
One major change is that both the new 2-Series and its M2 spin-off destined for North America will be built at BMW’s new San Luis Potosí plant in Mexico.
As for prices, the outgoing M2 costs $58,900, and we’d expect the new one to nudge into the low sixties to reflect the extra power and technology onboard, putting it midway between the $48,550 M240i xDrive and the $71,800 M4. Are you excited at the prospect of a new M2? Leave us a comment and let us know.
Note: These are independent illustrations made by CarScoops’ artist Josh Byrnes (3/4 front and 3/4 rear views) and Jean Francois Hubert/SB-Medien (front view) based on prototypes we’ve spied that are not related to nor endorsed by BMW