BMW has given the production green light to a new rear-wheel-drive M2 performance coupé, as part of a future compact M car line-up that will include a four-wheel-drive M2 Gran Coupé and a 1 Series with more than 400bhp.
The second-generation M2 coupé, which takes the internal codename G87, is scheduled to go on sale in the UK in 2022. It will bring with it a detuned version of BMW M’s latest six-cylinder petrol engine, sourced from the soon-to-be-revealed new M3 and M4 and the recently introduced X3 M and X4 M.
This twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre petrol unit, dubbed S58, replaces the similarly configured S55 used by the current M2 and promises the same high-revving characteristics, with a redline of 7200rpm.
Nothing is official at this early stage, but insiders hint that the S58 will be tuned to provide the new junior M car with at least 420bhp in standard form – a 16bhp increase over today’s M2 Competition – to top the 416bhp of the turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine in the Mercedes-AMG A45 S.
Together with 406lb ft of torque, this should ensure off-the-line performance is on par with, if not better than, that of its predecessor, despite an incremental increase in weight due to slightly larger dimensions. Its 0-62mph time should be in the low four-second bracket and its top speed close to 175mph when configured with a final drive ratio similar to today’s M2.
Due to reach showrooms in 2021, the new 2 Series Coupé, known internally by the codename G42, takes a different technical route to the new 2 Series Gran Coupé by adopting the latest evolution of BMW’s Cluster Architecture (CLAR) platform. This ensures the future M2 will have a similar mechanical layout to today’s model, with a longitudinal engine mounting instead of the transverse layout of its four-door M235i xDrive Gran Coupé sibling, which is based on BMW’s Front Architecture (FAAR) platform.
The adoption of the CLAR platform also future-proofs the M2 by providing it with the basis for a 48V electrical architecture, which is crucial for such features as throttle-off engine idling, regenerative braking and the option of an electric boosting function.
The new M2 is expected to go without mild-hybrid electric boosting at launch. However, with BMW’s M division already well advanced on such a system for the S58 engine, it could be incorporated during the car’s planned seven-year life cycle.