2015 BMW M235i: Five Reasons We're Psyched On the M2
June 8, 2015
As may be obvious from the title, this isn't about the 2015 BMW M235i in the Edmunds long-term fleet. Instead this is a musing about the next 2 Series that will join the fleet, or so say some of the staff editors. I sense they're slightly delusional; the beads of drool that collect at the corner of their mouths when they talk about the M2 seems like a dead giveaway.
But carried along in their rapture, I worked out some reasons why everyone should be excited about the forthcoming M2.
It's a Smaller, Lighter M car
Every iteration of the BMW 3 Series is larger than its predecessor. The current F30 generation 3 Series is nearly as large as the E39 5 Series sold from 1997 to 2003. This leaves plenty of room below the 3 Series lineup for something a bit nearer to the original M3. The 2 Series is close to the same size as those much-loved older 3 Series cars, and an M2 should appeal to enthusiasts who feel the M3/M4 twins have grown too big and heavy.
We Loved the 1 Series M Coupe
The 1 Series M Coupe (shown above) sold only for the 2011 model year, was a parts-bin car that took the suspension, steering and brakes from the E92 M3 and stuck them under a 135is chassis. The body was widened due to the increased track, and the 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder's output was raised to 335 horsepower. That power might seem modest compared to the M3, but in a car that weighed several hundred pounds less, it was plenty. The 1 Series M Coupe was equally at home on the track or on the street. BMW imported only 1,000 cars and prices on used ones can exceed the cost of the car when it was new.
It's a (Semi) Affordable M car
The base price on an M4 is $64,200. Adding options can push that price closer to $90,000, out of the range of most shoppers. The M2 would have to start for far less than that, splitting the difference between the M235i and the M4, and putting in within reach of many more shoppers. This starting price would also pit the M2 against the Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG and forthcoming Audi RS3.
It's a True M car
In the past few years, BMW has tried hard to stretch the M badge across as many products as they can. Currently, there are three flavors: M Sport, M Performance and full-fledged M. While the first two packages might feature parts from full M cars, they lack the comprehensive performance approach that models like the M3/M5 offer compared to the tamer standard versions. An M2 would have a reworked engine, suspension, brakes and bodywork that incorporates more exotic materials like carbon fiber, aluminum and magnesium.
In This Case, More is Better
More competition for Mercedes-Benz and Audi is a good thing, driving all companies to improve their cars. More choices for performance-minded drivers are also always a good thing. And getting more out of the 2 Series, a car we're fond of in its standard guise, has the potential for something great.
Reese Counts, Editorial Intern
(Reese has joined the Edmunds editorial crew to fulfill the final requirement of a university degree. He has the better part of the summer to learn that a career writing about cars leads to a rewarding, if impoverished, livelihood. This is his first post).