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.
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.
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.
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.
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.