The M2 will be based on the firm’s F21 platform – also set to underpin the 2 Series, due early in 2014 – and has a front-mounted engine driving the rear wheels.
One BMW insider has told us the newcomer, a direct descendent of the 1 Series Coupe, will be instantly recognisable from the entry-level car with its bold look.
Our source also explained that BMW will not copy Audi’s “sausage factory” approach to design. This means the racy new 2 Series will get unique front and rear end styling, as our exclusive images reveal.
The new 2 badge will also help BMW manage its model range, since the 1 Series family has expanded to include hatch, coupe, cabriolet and crossover models. Plus, it will overcome the problem of using M branding in conjunction with the 1 Series nameplate.
The company is currently testing two engines. The first – a 3.0-litre six-cylinder turbo – offers around 350bhp and is very similar to that in the 1M Coupe (tested on Page 56). The second is an innovative tri-turbo, giving similar performance but better fuel economy. This will debut in a new X3M at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.♦