A high-ranking BMW executive has confirmed the next-generation 2 Series will remain rear-driven, adding that the M2 will be a "drift machine".

Speaking to drive.com.au at the Paris Motor Show, Klaus Fröhlich, member of the BMW board responsible for development, revealed the coupé would retain its rear-wheel-drive configuration, despite other models in the range (such as the 1 Series and X1) switching to front-drive platforms.

“The next-generation 2 Series will be called the drift machine. So, whenever I look at the design I can say ‘Adrian , does that really look like a drift machine? It should have more thrill, do something more’,” he told the Australian publication.

Fröhlich said it was “important” for the M brand that drive still went to the rear of the coupé.

“People asked ‘does it really matter because the segment is too small?’. And I think it is so important for the brand and it’s so important for M, because the M2 is the entry model," he said.

“So, I fought hard and I won, so you will have also a 2 Series successor that will have the power where you need it.”

The next-generation M2, of course, is still some way off, with the Bavarian brand having revealed its M2 Competition only in April 2018.