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BMW's Ultimate Drift Machine Will Never Be A Hot Hatch

M Performance / 1 Comment

Why? Because there's already something better.

With the launch of the overseas-only BMW M135i xDrive, itself a variant of the new 1 Series hatchback, some may be wondering whether an M1 hot hatch may eventually happen. The short answer is ‘no.’ The 306 hp M135i xDrive will be the German automaker’s most powerful hatchback. It won’t stand a chance against the new Mercedes-AMG A45 or Audi RS3. Is BMW concerned? Not at all.

In fact, BMW M purposely decided against a full-blown M variant because it already builds the ultimate drift machine. Top Gear recently spoke with BMW M boss Marcus Flasch who confirmed: "There are no plans for a high-performance 1 Series.” Why not? Because the 2 Series coupe is BMW’s designated drift machine.

More specifically, the M2. The current generation M2, now called the M2 Competition, will eventually be replaced by a second generation M2, hence zero need for an M1 hot hatch. Unlike the M135i xDrive, which is built on a front-wheel-drive platform thought all-wheel drive is standard, the next M2, as we recently confirmed, will retain RWD.

BMW’s thinking also goes something like this: why bother building a crazy fast small car with anything but a six-cylinder? The current M2 is powered by a turbocharged 3.0-liter straight-six and it appears BMW M will stick with this. The M135i xDrive, by contrast, has a transversely mounted four-cylinder. In short, the M2 and its RWD platform is simply the better setup for drifting.

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Flasch even admitted the M2 is his favorite – even compared to the new M8. "Yes… the M2 is my favorite M car too. It’s got so much character. Not every driver goes to tracks and uses all the performance, but in the M2 you feel the character at the first roundabout. It’s got precise steering, an agile drivetrain, manual shift. We will continue to offer manual when customers demand it. It’s about being fun to drive.”

And yes, an M2 CS is most certainly on its way. It’ll shave some weight, add more power, and will basically be BMW M’s most badass machine. Drifters wanted.