M division chief is confident the M2 will offer the rawest thrills in the compact performance segment, but the use of hybrid technology in future M models isn't ruled out
15 January 2016

The new BMW M2 is the "purist's choice" in the compact performance segment, according BMW M development chief Dirk Haecker.

Read our review of the M2 in right-hand drive form

The £44,070 M2 made its world debut at the Detroit motor show ahead of UK sales in April. The front-engined, rear-drive model is powered by a turbocharged 3.0-litre straight six engine with 365bhp and a manual gearbox as standard, a formula that endows the M2 with "precision, agility and performance", according to Haecker.

Rival Mercedes-Benz uses a highly tuned 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine with all-wheel drive for its entry-level performance offering, the A45 AMG. Haecker said discussions have been had at BMW M but "no final decision to do that" had been taken for now or in the future, and the six-cylinder engine remained the right "philosophy" for small M cars.

Haecker also cautioned against adding too many more models to the M range, because "we don't want competition between our own lines".

He ruled out an M2 convertible but said BMW would "have a look at" other versions of the car in the future.

The X5 and X6 M SUVs are now mainstays of the range, according to Haecker, and he left the door open for an X4 M should the new X4 M40i, also in Detroit, be well received.

Haecker, who has been in the job at M for a year, is keen to see manual gearboxes continue in M cars. "A lot of people aren't interested in maximum performance, they want the experience," he said.

He also said that now was not the time for hybrid or electric systems for M models because they would add too much weight, although he was discussing the latest technology and developments with BMW's i division. More lightweight materials will also feature in future M cars, he added.

Our Verdict

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The BMW M235i is a rear-wheel-drive turbocharged coupé which rivals the likes of the Porsche Cayman

Does this compact coupé have the makings of a performance icon?

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Comments
7

15 January 2016
Well if the BMW i8 is any thing to go by then the days of an M branded hybrid may be nearer than it seems.

15 January 2016
Well if the BMW i8 is any thing to go by then the days of an M branded hybrid may be nearer than it seems.

15 January 2016
A purist doesn't like turbo. BMW has become tasteless...

18 January 2016
david RS wrote:
A purist doesn't like turbo. BMW has become tasteless...
Blah blah blah, things move on...

Cyclists own the road

15 January 2016
A purist doesn't like turbo. BMW has become tasteless...

15 January 2016
With a smooth and silky 3.0L engine and RWD, M2 is the purist's choice in this segment. No highly turboed small engine, or AWD which mutes the driving feel. Seems like 0-62 is the most important for Mercedes and Audi. And before any Audi fans talk about practicality of AWD in bad weather and so, nobody buys a fun drivers car for practicality reasons. There are other type of cars for that.

bezor Ta

18 January 2016
Purist's... more like pretentious twats

Cyclists own the road

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