The second-generation BMW M2 will have even stronger performance and more versatility than the well-received current model when it reaches UK showrooms by the end of 2022, according to insiders.
The new version of M division’s smallest model is based on the upcoming third-generation 2 Series Coupé, which has been comprehensively re-engineered with a revised line-up of longitudinally mounted engines, a new eight-speed automatic gearbox, an updated platform, a significantly stiffer body structure and more advanced electronic architecture.
The changes provide the new, G87-generation M2 with much closer engineering ties to other M models than today’s M2 has. M division insiders say this will enable the new M2 to offer a further step up in performance while helping it to retain a reputation for dynamic excellence through the sharing of key components.
An internal source told Autocar: “It’s more powerful, with greater torque, but sharper, too. It’s still puristic, a driver’s car, but with a broader spread of characteristics, a greater divide between comfort and sport, than what we’ve seen up to now.”
Central to the model-specific changes for the upcoming Porsche Cayman GTS rival is the arrival of BMW M’s S58 engine. The twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre six-cylinder unit was introduced on the X3 M and X4 M, and more recently deployed in the new M3 and M4. It will replace the existing M2’s long-running N55 unit, introduced in 2009, as well as the S55 engine used by the more potent M2 Competition and M2 CS.
Key elements of the S58 engine include a newly designed crankcase, a longer stroke, a reworked cylinder head and a more efficient induction system, which uses two mono-scroll turbochargers in place of the single turbocharger in the engine it replaces. As with the older S55 engine, it also gets a petrol particulate filter.
Autocar understands the new inline powerplant, which will be updated to meet Euro 7 emission regulations during the M2’s planned seven-year life cycle, will be offered in two states of tune in a move mirroring that of the new M3 and M4 – both with a 7200rpm redline – although only the higher-output Competition car is likely to be available in the UK.
Details remain under wraps more than a year before its planned introduction but standard M2 models are expected to receive up to 410bhp, with the successor to today’s M2 Competition set to offer up to 430bhp, just 50bhp short of the standard M3 and M4. The rise in power is claimed to be accompanied by a moderate lift in torque. Again, nothing is official but BMW M sources have revealed to Autocar that the new M2 could have as much as 428lb ft – 22lb ft more than the existing M2 Competition and M2 CS.
Autocar has been told the CLAR platform adopted by the new 2 Series provides a 40% increase in body rigidity compared with the structure used by the old model. The new M2 will add further rigidity with its own unique front suspension dome brace strut and a new brace integrated within the rear suspension.
Underpinning the new M2 is a heavily reworked MacPherson strut front and multi-link rear suspension. Among the benefits of the new set-up cited by BMW M engineers is its ability to support increased front camber. It will be available with the choice of either lift-related or variable dampers.
In a significant shift in M division operations, the next M2 will be manufactured alongside other 2 Series models at BMW’s newly established factory in San Luis Potosí, Mexico. Today’s M2 is produced exclusively at BMW’s Leipzig plant in Germany. Details about the sourcing of key components, including the S58 engine, have yet to be made official, although insiders suggest it will continue to be manufactured at BMW’s Munich engine plant.