M Performance

The Best BMW M Car is Yet to Come

The new M3 and M4 are great, but some purists think they're simply too big.

The arrival of the all-new BMW M3 and M4 was a big deal. But many M brand purists, who are known to be quite a loyal bunch, have pinned their hopes on a future M car that’ll have way more in common with the iconic E30 M3. Before we get to that, it must be said that BMW has just acknowledged what we already knew: the just-launched M235i is not a true M car. No, it’s an MPA. Those three letters stand for M Performance Automobiles.

Basically, MPA models are BMW's clever strategy to offer younger enthusiasts a sporty, but cheaper M alternative. Think Audi’s S line compared to its RS cars. M brand chief Friedrich Nitschke stated that "the tradeoff is the core M models are developed for use on the racetrack, but you can use the car daily. We are not so focused on the MPAs." Back to the M235i. It’s a fine driver’s car and all, but it’s not what a real M purist is after. That’ll be the M2, which will be the true direct successor to the famed and discontinued 1 Series M Coupe. The 1 M, as it was often called, was perhaps the best M car since the E30 M3, but we have a feeling the M2 is going satisfy the purists even more.

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