And we couldn't be happier.
The all-new 2020 BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe may be controversial for some brand enthusiasts, mainly because it's built on a front-wheel-drive platform. BMW sedans have long been rear-wheel-drive-only, but the new FWD setup, in reality, will be all-wheel drive for the US market. Still, times are changing and this begs the question, once again: will BMW's high-performance M division be assigned to build an M2 Gran Coupe? Nope, and BMW M CEO Markus Flasch wants to clarify this once and for all.
Speaking to BMW Blog, Flasch reiterated pure M versions – not including M Performance versions – are not happening. The FAAR front-wheel-drive architecture that underpins the 2 Series Gran Coupe simply cannot meet the needs of a fully-fledged M model's performance requirements, simple as that.
Above all, however, there's no need for such a vehicle. That's what the M2 coupe is for, which rides on a completely different setup. "We have a very strong offering in the M2 so we figure there's no need to have (both) a high-performance car based on the (long-standing rear-drive) 2 Series and then a performance car based on the (new-gen, front-drive-centric) 1 Series," Flasch said.
BMW M's focus isn't purely high sales figures but also retaining the driving performance culture and expectations customers demand. Tackling a vehicle built on the FAAR setup would not impress those longtime and extremely loyal customers.
Flasch understands that a proper high-performance compact car is always RWD. The M division's entry-level model will forever be RWD. The next-generation 2 Series coupe, currently in development, will remain RWD though it won't arrive for another four to five years. This allows plenty of time for the continued development of the current-gen, evidenced by the upcoming hardcore M2 CS. Flasch also won't rule out more M2 models while we wait for the eventual successor.