BMW M has a rich history of iconic internal-combustion engines, but stricter emissions regulations mean it already has electrification in its sights.
“We will see increasing electrification in other vehicles, of course in different forms, starting with the 48-volt electrical system and plug-in hybrids to fully electric drives,” explained Mr van Meel when translated from German to English.
“From this point of view, the M2 will be the last M with a pure combustion engine drive and also without electrification scope such as a 48-volt on-board network.”
We already know the first of these high-performance electrified BMW M models is the upcoming XM plug-in hybrid (PHEV) SUV, which will debut at the end of 2022.
First shown off as the Concept XM in November 2021, the production BMW XM will be powered by a “newly-developed” petrol V8 engine mated to an electric motor with claimed system outputs of 480kW of power and 800Nm of torque.
BMW also claims it’ll have an electric range of up to 80km on WLTP testing.
Other electrified vehicles BMW M offers are the all-electric i4 M50 four-door coupe, iX M60 SUV and i7 M70 large sedan. These are geared as more regular performance than high-performance offerings though.
BMW M has now reached the halfway point of its 50-year anniversary celebrations, and it’s expected the M2 will be a part of these plans.
In standard guise, the M2 will reportedly have more power than the outgoing M2 Competition, which produces 302kW and 550Nm from its 3.0-litre twin-turbo inline six cylinder.
The regular M2, last seen here in 2018, put out 272kW and 465Nm.
It’ll be offered with both manual and automatic transmissions. Mr van Meel indicated that over 50 per cent of US buyers and over 20 per cent of European buyers will opt for the manual transmission.
The new M2 Competition is rumoured to have its outputs increased to 335kW or even 365kW, with a six-speed manual also expected to continue.
BMW M has already revealed a number of new vehicles as part of its anniversary celebrations.
BMW has already confirmed its plans to reveal the M3 Touring at the 2022 Goodwood Festival of Speed in June.
MORE: Everything BMW M2