BMW is starting to put an end to the endless rumors surrounding the long-awaited M2 by releasing the first official tidbits of information.
Expected to debut in Detroit next January, the M2 will inaugurate a brand-new 3.0-liter straight-six engine that is internally called S57. Turbocharged and direct-injected, the engine will be tuned to produce at least 375 horsepower, though some inside sources have revealed that it could produce considerably more.
“Four hundred horsepower is the magic number. With forced induction it is not trouble to achieve this, but we have to make sure it doesn’t get too close to the power level of the new M4,” explained Friedrich Nitschke, the outgoing president of BMW’s M division, in an interview with British magazine Autocar.
The M2 will come standard with a six-speed manual transmission and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic will be available at an extra cost. A start/stop system will like come standard to keep fuel economy in check regardless of which transmission is chosen, and BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive system might be available at an extra cost.
Nitschke hinted the M2 will be able to hit 62 mph from a stop in 4.4 seconds when equipped with the seven-speed dual-clutch. Top speed will be electronically limited to 155 mph.
Related: Next-gen 7-Series
Earlier reports indicate the successor to the widely-acclaimed 1-Series M will look more aggressive than the standard 2-Series (pictured) thanks to a full body kit consisting of a deep front bumper with large air dams, side skirts and a more aggressive-looking rear bumper.
Official details about the BMW M2 will emerge in the weeks leading up to its debut at the Detroit Motor Show. The coupe is tentatively scheduled to go on sale across the nation next summer as a 2016 model.
A de-tuned version of the M2’s straight-six engine will also be found under the hood of the next-gen 7-Series that is expected to debut late next year.