Bmw working on an M2 sports car to take on the Porsche Cayman

Article by Christian Andrei, on July 6, 2011

BMW’s new M2 coupe is being prepared to rival the Porsche Cayman and Audi TT RS. Dr Friedrich Nitschke, the M Division’s new managing director, told Auto Express that the car was key to his plans. BMW is also working on the new M3. Nitschke revealed that BMW is considering a supercar that will go up against the Lamborghini Aventador.

BMW is gearing up to compete with the quattro GmbH performance arm that builds the S and RS-badged Audis, as well as the R8.

The M2 is based on BMW’s F21 platform, which is set to underpin the 2 Series and is expected to arrive in early 2014. Its rear wheels are driven by a front-mounted engine. A BMW source said that this new car, which is directly descended from the 1 Series Coupe, could be easily distinguished from the entry-level car due to its bold appearance. A source said that BMW will not follow how Audi approaches its design method, which is said to be the “sausage factory” variety.

These exclusive images show that the racy new 2 Series will receive unique front 
and rear end styling. With this new 2 badge, BMW will be able to more easily manage its model range. The 1 Series family now includes hatch, coupe, cabriolet and crossover models. In addition, it resolves the issue of using M branding together with the 1 Series nameplate.

BMW is conducting tests on two engines. The first engine is a 3.0-litre six-cylinder turbo that delivers about 350bhp and is comparable to the engine used in the 1M Coupe. The second engine is an innovative tri-turbo that offers a similar performance but its fuel economy has been improved. This will be introduced this September in a new X3M that will be displayed at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

Essentially, top-notch driving dynamics is achievable if the vehicle has a lighter yet more rigid axle system. With this in mind, engineers at BMW M GmbH looked at the BMW M3/M4 models, which are known for their lightweight aluminum axles both on the front and rear. Now made from aluminum, the control arms, wheel carriers and axle subframes as well as the stiffening plate of the double-joint spring-strut front axle are now around five kilograms lighter than their steel counterparts.

Moreover, BMW M engineers were able to make the system much lighter by employing aluminum suspension struts and tubular anti-roll bar. For very precise wheel location, BMW M employed play-free ball joints in transmitting transverse forces. This was also enhanced by a stiffening plate as well as extra bolted connection between the axle subframe and the body sills, which further stiffened the front-end structure. Moreover, longitudinal forces that pass through the suspension are now directly transmitted into the torque struts using special elastomer bearings, resulting to a better rolling comfort.

BMW M also used forged aluminum for the control arms and wheel carriers of the new M2's five-link rear axle, thereby reducing the unsprung masses of the wheel-locating components by around three kilograms. The lightweight steel grid-type rear axle subframe is now linked to the body by a racing-derived rigid connection, thereby enhancing wheel location and tracking stability of the M2. BMW M also tuned the axle kinematics to deliver the precise wheel location typical of M cars.

Interesting enough, the new BMW M2 comes with tires and wheels that were developed in conjunction with the axle taken into full consideration. This is to ensure that the M2’s dynamic potential is transferred to the road effectively. BMW M development engineers took a number of factors into considerations, like the need for the front wheels to deliver lateral and directional stability as well as steering feel and precision. Moreover, engineers considered the need for the rear wheels to deliver optimal traction and lateral and directional stability. Upon careful consideration, engineers opted to use aluminum wheels wrapped in mixed-size tires.

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