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BMW Exec Says ‘No’ to Front-Wheel-Drive M Performance Cars: Report

Fans of the enthusiast-oriented M2 and 2 Series coupes needn't worry.

With the divisive BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe four-door going front-wheel-drive, fans of the traditional 2 Series were worried that their favorite small, rear-drive Bimmer would be doomed to the same fate. BMW officials, however, have not only confirmed that the next 2 Series coupe won’t be front-drive, but that there’ll never be a FWD M car under their watch.

Gernot Stuhl, BMW’s 2 Series product manager, explained to Autocar that the 2 Series coupe will “continue with a different architecture” to that of the 2 Series Gran Coupe, which rides on the FWD-based UKL2 platform. Buyers of 2 Series coupes, Stuhl says, strongly value RWD, and he claims it wouldn’t make sense to drive off this customer base by using UKL2 for the two-door model.

“There will still be a hardcore BMW M2 for those that want it,” said Stuhl. “If you feel you need a compact car with more than 302 brake horsepower, there will be an offering for you in the BMW range.”

Stuhl reportedly confirmed that there’ll be no Gran Coupe hotter than the M235i M Performance, and therefore no M2 Gran Coupe, meaning you’ll only find the M2 badge on a two-door model that’s either RWD or AWD. BMW M boss Markus Flasch added in a separate interview that no M badges will ever be found on a FWD BMW, and reportedly answered the question of FWD’s suitability for M cars with a simple “no, it’s not.”

“We have a very strong offering in the M2 so we figure there’s no need to have a high-performance car based on the [rear-wheel-drive] 2 Series and then a performance car based on the [front-wheel-drive UKL2] 1 Series,” Flasch told Car Advice

“The M135i xDrive is very attractive in the performance segment but if you really want high performance, customers will always go for the M2. [The M2] is the most charismatic and purest model that we have and we’re working on a successor. There is no reason to do something different with the 1 Series.”

BMW’s commitment to keeping a rear-drive 2 Series around may make it sound like the next M2 can’t possibly go wrong. Of course, it is Halloween, so we feel obligated to scare you with the possibility that the 4 Series’ monstrously large kidney grille will adorn the next baby M car. That’d feel more like a trick than a treat.