The unofficial line that BMW M is giving to journalists when asked about an M2 recently has been, “there are no plans and we’re not working on it”. Sounds familiar? It’s identical to what BMW was saying in 2007 when the 135i came out. Four years later we had the 1m. It was a car that BMW rapidly developed and released but has gone on to be one of the most highly acclaimed M cars of all time. But there’s one thing that might derail an M2 – the M235i.
The M235i is the first M Performance car to be released in the US and likely one of the most anticipated worldwide. It combines a light dose of M wizardry with an attainable price. Crucially performance should be similar to the 1M (of not faster with the automatic) and it will not be limited in production.
But then BMW dropped an interesting clue on us with the “M235i Racing” – a turn-key customer race car that looks exactly like an M2 might. Widened fenders with a highly modified sub-frame gives this car modern yet classic M look. It also looks like something BMW M spent considerable time on. Enough that we wonder if that development will be leveraged in something else more street-able.
Then there’s the thorn in BMW’s side called the Mercedes CLA45. Yes it’s front wheel drive biased all wheel drive but it’s a full-on AMG product based off of Mercedes entry level vehicle. Clearly it’s an attempt to age-down AMG owners and offer an entry-point for the brand. Will BMW M sit on the sidelines while AMG rings up sales? Wouldn’t an M2 compete well?
And what about the 1M? It’s become mythical since it’s release and quick sell-out in 2011. And while we can’t wait to get behind the wheel of the M235i, we know it’ll be no 1M. There’s no wide stance, no M steering rack and braking system and of course no monster M Differential.
Will we see an M2? Clearly this is the wrong time for BMW to tip their hat with the M235i, M3 and M4 about to be released. But the fact that Mercedes A45 and CLA45s have been spotted at M headquarters in Garching, we wouldn’t be surprised if M is doing some initial planning and research for just such a vehicle.