The M2 is proof that if the fans love something, BMW will build it.
From its very inception, the BMW M2 was bound to be a winner. Not only was it sized similarly to iconic classics like the E46 M3, but its focus on outright driving dynamics rather than equal parts comfort and performance (though it still does comfort well) made it so the M2 ticked off every box that gearheads wanted ticked off. Nailing the recipe is what’s led BMW M2 sales to surge past initial expectations.Now that BMW and its shareholders are happy, it wants to make sure we're thanked accordingly.
In an interview with Autocar, BMW M vice president Dirk Hacker said, “The M2 is tracking at 40-50% above our expectation in terms of sales, with almost half of buyers specifying a manual.” This is great news because it shows the automakers that there's a market for raw performance and not just dulled down versions of it. Not only does a high take rate for the manual mean that it’ll remain an option on the car, the M2’s overall popularity means that the M Division will work its magic on the car and derive additional special edition models. “Demand for cars like the M2, which is probably our purest M product today, has surprised us, and that opens opportunities for building more extreme cars, in the vein of GTS and CSL heritage models,” said Hacker.
For now, that means we can expect an M2 CSL soon after the current model gets its traditional mid cycle LCI facelift. With a more powerful 3.0-liter twin-turbo inline-six pulled from the current M3 and M4 as well as a lighter footprint, the M2 CSL should be one of the hottest M cars ever built. Expect it to become an instant classic and a future collectable the second it's out. The only issue is that it’ll likely be priced as such. If BMW’s recent foray into the special edition market has taught the marketing team anything, it’s that it can charge exorbitant prices and still see strong sales. Hacker also took the time to make it clear that though the new M5 debuted an all-wheel drive system, it doesn’t mean lower M cars will follow.
“We will increase the power of these cars, but we don’t want to increase the weight,” he said. “We’ll use four-wheel drive where we need it.” Front-wheel drive is also off the table because that sort of drivetrain doesn’t mix well with driving dynamics. “You have to be able to feel the car with through the steering and the throttle. Today, there is no solution for front-wheel-drive.” This is a glimmer of hope that stands out among news of the internal combustion engine's impending doom. Photos by Monholo Oumar.