Will the BMW M2 Kill the M235i and the M4?

German magazine AutoBild is out this week with some fresh M2 speculation. 374 hp and 400 ft lbs or torque. Further they believe pricing should be right around 56k Euro for the would-be M4 killer. With figures like that, it’s not hard to question who wouldn’t stretch from the M235i to the M2. Further it’s not that hard to see the M2 putting a dent in M4 sales. Obviously we’re not suggesting BMW will kill either car but it’s easy to see how the M2 could nail the sweet spot in price vs performance versus the M235i or M4.

Lets lay out the argument why the M2 may just be the perfect M car for the next decade.

Expected Pricing

M2_b

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. In other words the M2 could be anywhere from $11k to $13k cheaper than the M4 and only $8k to $11k more pricey than the M235i.

Engine and Performance.

M2

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 an output around 360 hp in the US. How did we get that figure? For one, we’ve heard whispers of it for a year now and with AutoBild claiming 374 hp or Europe, it lines up well. 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 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. Expect 0-60 times of just above 4 seconds with the DCT.

Now keep in mind that $11k-$13k price difference with the M4 and the M2 starts to look like a helluva a bargain. On the other end these figures and the performance that comes with it clearly murders the M235i.

Technology and Light Weight Materials.

M2_ring3

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.

A car with more power and less weight than the M235i? That’s what we expect. Likewise if the 1M is any indication, we should see the shorter wheelbase and light weight combined with the M4’s suspension and brakes produce a car that begs to be driven hard. Once again the math here adds up to something that sounds more compelling to this BMW enthusiast than either the M235i or M4.

Timing.

M235i_01999

The M2 will debut on the internet in December with a public debut likely in Detroit this January.

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.

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? The figures above aren’t official so there still some time to be disappointed with less output and higher weight. But given what BMW was able to achieve with both the 1M an the M4, it’s hard to imagine the M2 won’t be anything less than spectacular.

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  • SockRolid

    M division has lost its “magic” IMHO. They add power to existing engines, then add carbon fiber to reduce weight, then tweak suspensions. Nothing new. Same old tried-and-true hot-rodding techniques.

    I look forward to the M2 for two reasons: 1. it will divert attention from the M235i (better for me since I plan to buy an M235i and have zero interest in an M2) and 2. it just might shake up the “M3/4 as performance king” mentality of BMW enthusiasts.

    At one time, the M5 was BMW’s performance king. Now, it’s the power king but its weight keeps it from feeling as sporty as the smaller M3/4. Of course, today’s M3/4 is bigger than the M5 of a few years ago. Time for a new, smaller, sportier king of the M cars. I’ll be making popcorn and reading forums.

    • aznsuperm3

      M3/M4 bigger than M5 a few years ago? Since when was any generation M5 lighter than 3400lbs?

      • SockRolid

        Bigger in inches, not weight. It’s the traditional model-creep that most auto manufacturers do. Just slightly bigger every year until there’s room at the bottom for a new, smaller model. Hence the 1 and 2 series.

      • SockRolid

        Oh well. Looks like BMW M won’t turn the M2 in the an M3/M4-killer. Little if any carbon-fiber bodywork. Roughly 3500 lb. curb weight. Don’t want to cannibalize M3/M4 sales with the lower-cost M2, now do we?

  • RH

    I think the pricing will be OK if they keep it south of $60k, but if they keep the production numbers ridiculously low like the 1M, then prepare to get gouged by the dealer network

  • Nick Dawson

    A few months ago, Autocar published a triple test between the M235i, M4 and Alpina B4. To cut a long story short, the M4 came last! The test team was highly impressed with all three, but found that where the M4 was better than the B4, it was only by a small margin, whereas when the B4 was better it was decisively so. But neither provided a convincing reason to spend £25k more than the winning M235i.

    So, where does that leave the M2? Well its engine is a detuned version of its bigger brother’s, producing 369bhp and 384lb ft rather than the full 425bhp and 406lb ft, but it should still be ferociously fast, and much of the M4’s chassis tech crosses over in full, including its brakes. However, the reduced profit margins inherited in a smaller vehicle mean that there is less scope to deploy exotic weight reduction techniques – there will be no carbon-fibre roof for example, and with its distended bodywork, extra oily bits and added bracing, the on-road weight difference between the M2 and M4 is expected to be as little as 15kg (33 lbs).

    However, in the UK, the M235i has a base price of £34k, the M2 £45k and the M4 £56k, so evenly spread. Ultimately it will be a classic case of, “You pays your money and you takes your choice”. Just to add some extra spice to the mix, we now know that there will be a GTS variant of the M2, complete with carbon roof, M235i Racing-inspired lightweight bodywork, deleted rear seats and more than 400bhp.

    • SockRolid

      I’ll just get an M235i and tune it. And that tuner will be “Brand D,” the only one with full factory-matching warranty (in the US anyway.) Their S1 tune supposedly delivers about 364 HP with 430 lb-ft torque. And that’s enough for me. Don’t want to shill, so I won’t spell out the name here.

  • disqus_DFnvXJ7c9h

    Basically E46 M3 2.0