The M2 is clear cruising through development judging by this latest prototype. There’s less camo and gone is the plastic cladding that covered the shape of the air intake design below the headlights. We also get a hint of the metallic red color that will be new to the M mix with this car. But there’s a lot more we know about the new baby M. Read on for details.
Engine and Performance.
Under the M2′s hood, we’ll find the N55B30T0 inline six. An iteration of the N55, the N55B30T0 will be available as standard with a six-speed manual transmission, which is likely a variation of that found in the M3/M4 — which itself is a variation of the 1M unit. The biggest addition over the 1M will be an optional automatic transmission. Which automatic? We expect M to utilize the 7-speed DCT from the M3/M4 in the M2 to further distance it from the M235i and properly position it against its competition.
Based on what we’re hearing from sources and good old-fashioned conjecture, we’re expecting the N55B30T0 to have a, output around 350-360 hp. How did we get that figure? For one, we’ve heard whispers of it for a year now. Secondly, it’s the power-to-weight-ratio that will be key in the M2. Despite the fact that the 2-Series is heavier than the 1-Series that came before it, we expect the M2 to be similar in weight to the 1M (3,296 lbs) if not less thanks to use of carbon fiber. Adding 25-35 hp and (likely) increased torque at that weight, the M2 should rocket to 0-60 faster than the 1M with the DCT. In fact, it ought to slot-in just under the M3 and M4 in regard to straight-line performance.
(Interesting side note. BMW M will be levering the N55B30T0 in the M Performance version of the X4: the X4 M40i.)
Technology and Light Weight Materials.
This successor to the 1M will follow many of the same paths, with some notable exceptions. While the standard 2-Series is heavier than the 1M, BMW M is working to make the M2 not just lighter than the 135i but also lighter than the 1M. Price-point will surely dictate less of the costly weight-savings measures we see in the M3/M4, but we expect several of the engineering philosophies to carry over on the M2. Notably a CFRP roof could be part of the mix along with other composite components. We also expect some of the M4′s lightweight suspension design philosophy (if not the exact parts) to carry over into the M2.
Speaking of pricing, BMW NA has a hard act to follow with the 1M — a car which had an MSRP of $46,135 — has had a massive value increase over the past three years. Currently, prices for low mileage cars are hovering between 60k and 70k (and some over). With only 740 cars imported to the US, you can expect a healthy market for years to come. The puts BMW NA in an interesting position. The M4 is priced at $64,200 on one side, and the M235i is at $43,100 on the other.
Given this, and a much healthier options list than with the 1M, we’d expect a base price of over $50,000 with options pushing potential prices over $60k.
The M2’s debut will take place on the internet late this year with a public debut happening in early January at the Detroit Auto show. Based on sources, the BMW M2 will begin production in November of 2015 with deliveries to start in December throughout western Europe and the UK. US production will begin in March of 2016 with deliveries in late April. Unlike the 1M, production will not be limited in any way other than production dates. In fact, if BMW NA can keep pricing in check as they did with the 1M, could BMW have a massive M car hit on its hands? One important note however. BMW M2 is internally listed to end production on 10/18 giving the car a two and a half year run. Double that of the 1M but much less than the 6-7 year model run of the M3 and M4.