The CEO of BMW’s M division says the M2 Competition is the most popular M-badged vehicle not because of its overall performance but rather thanks to its “character”.
Markus Flasch made the comments during a round-table interview with journalists in Munich attended by CAR magazine.
The Austrian-born CEO said although he owned a Z3 M Coupé, his favourite vehicle in the current line-up was the M2 Competition.
“Everyone calls the M2 Competition their favourite M car, it seems, and to me this has got so much to do with character. It's not just about performance and lap times,” he said.
“Of course, this is what [the] engineers work towards. But it's so much about character because not every one of our customers is capable and has the chance to go on a racetrack to really find out what the ultimate performance of the car is.
“But the character that we try to tune into a car is something that you feel in the first corner and the first turning and the first roundabout,” Flasch explained.
“And it’s spectacular to drive. Maybe there are faster ways to drive around the racetrack. But if you know what you're doing this is probably most playful M car.”
He added that the M2 Competition (which is, of course, the entry point to full-fat M ownership) “just oozes character” from a design perspective, too.
Earlier, in a separate interview with an Australian publication, Flasch said he expected the new X3 M to become the best-selling full-fat model in the Munich-based firm’s high-performance division, eventually taking the mantle from the M2 Competition.
As a reminder, the M2 Competition’s twin-turbo 3,0-litre straight-six makes 302 kW, while peak torque comes in at 550 N.m (between 2 350 and 5 200 r/min). The result is a claimed 0-100 km/h time of 4,2 seconds in auto guise and 4,4 seconds in manual form.
Ryan has spent most of his career in online media, writing about everything from sport to politics and other forms of crime. But his true passion – reignited by a 1971 Austin Mini Mk3 still tucked lifeless in a dark corner of his garage – is of the automotive variety.