The move is likely to have as much to do with marketing and model positioning as anything else. Now that it has been confirmed the next M3 will lose its V8 in favour of an inline six, it makes sense for the junior M2 model to have a smaller engine configuration than the M3.
BMW’s N20 four cylinder appears the most likely candidate to adapt for use in an M2; currently the N20 has a maximum spec of 180kW/350Nm. It begs the question, where will the M2 engine performance sit given it is replacing a model with 250kW/450Nm?
It’s quite possible the M2 will have less power than the 1M, if BMW’s unofficial insider is to be believed. Quoted on the 1Addicts forum Scott26 said the M2, “is known as the ‘Downsized’ M because BMW M are investigating the concept of a completely reworked N20 based four cylinder in terms of the successor to the 1M offering the same recipe as before but with lower weight but still offering the entry to M ownership with the key of precision rather than outright power.”
Assuming the M2 does follow expectations and employ a four-cylinder engine; we wonder, what is the long-term future of the six cylinder M135i?