We know that a new, rear-wheel-drive M2 Coupe – powered by a longitudinally-mounted 313-kW 3.0-litre straight-6 – is in the works. However, in light of the controversial styling of the Concept 4 and the challenging looks of the 2 Series Gran Coupe, many BMW fans fear the next M2 might look like a bit of monstrosity. That may not necessarily be the case, however...
Last month, we reported that the 2nd-generation BMW 2 Series Coupé (codenamed the G42) was scheduled to go on sale next year – but it might now be later than that, depending on the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, unlike the current 1 Series hatchback and 2 Series Gran Coupe, which have transverse engine layouts and are based on BMW’s Front Architecture platform (FAAR also underpins the X1, X2 and all current Mini models), the newcomer will adopt an evolution of the brand’s Cluster Architecture (CLAR) platform and be closely based on the Z4 Roadster and its cousin, the Toyota GR Supra. So, whereas previous Coupe, Cabriolet and Gran Coupe versions of the BMW 4 Series, 6 Series and 8 Series were built on the same platform and had very similar styling cues (despite their distinctive body configurations), the 2 Series Gran Coupe and its Coupe siblings will be more like half-siblings...
Of course, the confusing genealogy of the 2 Series variants won't bother purists, because the G42 will be rear-wheel-driven and configured to be powered by the legendary 3.0-litre straight-6 motor. Autocar has reported that the next M2 Coupe (codenamed G87) will be propelled by a detuned version of the twin-turbo S58 powerplant in the X3 M/X4 M (also in the upcoming M3 and M4) and produce peak outputs of at least "313 kW and 550 Nm of torque".
This finish closely resembles the Estoril Blue M colour; @zer.o.wt was happy to explore a diverse palette with their M2 rendering.
But what will the 2 Series Coupe, especially the M2 version look like? Judging from the dramatic design cues of the Concept 4 and Concept i4 (backed up with the clues we've got from spy pictures of the former), we know that the upcoming 4 Series is most likely to sport some version of the concept cars' gargantuan upright double-kidney grilles. Given that BMW has made it quite public that it wants to further differentiate between its rational and emotional models from an aesthetic point of view (like the 3 Series and the next 4 Series, for example) it could mean that the 2 Series Coupe may get that controversial large-nostrilled treatment too...
However, these speculative renderings, which were shared with BMW BLOG by one of its readers, @zer.o.wt, show that the upcoming M2 might look even better than its predecessor! While BMW's attempt to distil the 8 Series Gran Coupe's sleek, sweeping looks in the 2 Series Gran Coupe (GC) was less than successful because designers were boxed in (literally) by the dumpy 2-box hatchback packaging of the 1 Series on which the newcomer is based, the G42's adapted CLAR platform's longitudinal-engine layout necessitates a longer bonnet and a more cab-rearward profile. Of course, the Munich-based brand will still be obliged (at least, so we believe) to tie in the new M2 with the rest of the members of the 2 Series family, so the 2 Series GC's broad kidney grille with 3-dimensional black mesh and distinctive lighting elements are bound to be carried over. The elaborate spoiler and flared fenders? Well, they're mandatory!
Signal Green is one of the extra-cost Individual M colours in BMW's current line-up... Picture credit: @zer.o.wt
Meanwhile, the next M2 Coupe is expected to comfortably rev to a redline of 7200 rpm and dispatch the 0-100 kph sprint “in the low 4-second bracket”, the British publication said. What's more, the flagship 2 Series Coupe will be offered with either a purist-pleasing 6-speed manual gearbox (in combination with an Active M Differential) or an 8-speed automatic transmission (to replace the current car's dual-clutch 'box). It will also feature “extra stiffening measures, such as suspension-strut tower-mounted beams front and rear, dynamic engine mounts and a wider track, the last of which has also necessitated new bodywork."
The rumoured M2 Gran Coupe, by contrast, will be a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder all-wheel-drive rival to the Mercedes-AMG CLA 45.
The adoption of the CLAR platform further provides the 2 Series Coupe with the basis for a 48V electrical architecture, which supports throttle-off engine idling, regenerative braking and, most importantly, the option of an electric boosting function. BMW is said to be developing the system to be integrated with the S58 motor, but don’t expect it to appear on the M2 Coupe upon its initial release, only later on in the model's lifecycle, the publication added.
The M2 Coupe and its standard siblings will be produced (we think there might also be an M240i with 285 kW and 550 Nm) alongside the 3rd-generation Z4 at BMW’s factory in Leipzig, Germany.
BMW won't rest on its laurels with its 224 kW 2.0-litre 4-cylinder motor; it hopes to crank the engine's output to near 300 kW!
M2 Gran Coupe?
Autocar also suggested the M2 Coupe would eventually be joined by a 4-door namesake. BMW will indeed not be limiting the 2.0-litre 4-cylinder engine in the 2 Series Gran Coupe to 225 kW/450 Nm. The firm plans to introduce an M2 Gran Coupé to rival the Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 and next-generation Audi RS3 Saloon. The flagship 2 Series Gran Coupe will produce around 300 kW from a highly tuned version of the M235i GC’s motor, in combination with xDrive.
That unit will also be transferred into the 1 Series hatchback; as for what the derivative that will sit above the current M135i xDrive will be called, that's anyone's guess. It's still unlikely that BMW will use the hallowed "M1" moniker for its smallest 4-wheel-drive M car, even if it does have the ability to show the upcoming Audi RS3, next-generation Ford Focus RS and Volkswagen Golf R, plus the Mercedes-AMG A45 a clean pair of... exhaust tips.