I can understand being excited about a lighter, more focused M2, but I absolutely cannot understand why anyone would be excited about a 360 HP 2.0L turbo I4 engine. BMW cannot defy the laws of physics. The exhaust energy of a 4-cylinder engine has a ceiling that prevents it from generating a smooth, refined powerband above somewhere around 250 HP.
This argument makes me want to kick a puppy:
"But Mitsubishi and Subaru have been doing it for years!"
1) The driving character of an Evo/STi is 180° from the 1M
2) When you turbocharge a 2.0L I4 to these power levels, they're flat and boring at "around town" RPM
3) If I wanted a fucking Evo/STi, I'd save $10K and get one over a (anticipated) $55k M2
The other elephant in the room is that there is no such thing as a *light* automobile any more. My first car was a MkI Golf. It weighed 1700 lbs... Yeah, read that again...
I had the '77 model with the 78 HP 1.6L, which was second only to the MkI GTI in terms of power. That car was fun, but it was horribly slow by today's standards. My point is that I understand how much fun a light weight car can be. The Mazda Miata still ranks as one of the most fun cars I've ever driven. There is no substitute for lightness.
We can't go back there. Safety is too important. Power windows, power seats, air-conditioning, quiet cabins... all these things have become too important to the broad market.
This is a BMW M car. This is not a Miata. This is not a GTI. This is not an Evo. This is not an STi. This is an M car. M car buyers will not accept the compromises made in cars like the Evo and STi.
If BMW manages to make a 2.0L I4 with more than 310 HP, and is *not* generally regarded as laggy by the automotive press, I'll eat my shoe.
His: 2013 ///M3 - Interlagos Blue Black M-DCT
Hers: 2013 X3 28i - N20 Mineral Silver / Sand Beige / Premium, Tech
Past: 2010 135i - TiAg Coral Red 6MT ///M-Sport