The head of BMW’s high-performance M division says the firm will build "a proper M2 successor", but has also effectively ruled out a full-fat M-badged version of the new 1 Series.

Speaking to whichcar.com.au, BMW M boss Markus Flasch said the Munich-based automaker would create a worthy follow-up to the current M2 Competition, a rear-wheel-drive coupé powered by a 302 kW straight-six.

“The M2 is the M iconic at the moment and we’ll make sure it stays that way. I am very confident we will have a proper M2 successor that fills the needs of the traditional M car,” Flasch said.

The Australian publication pointed out the next-generation M2 was not expected until 2022 “at the earliest”.

Flasch added the German firm had no plans to develop full-blown M versions of the X2 and latest 1 Series, with the X2 M35i xDrive and M135i xDrive (each offering 225 kW from a turbocharged 2,0-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine) the hottest each range would go. That, of course, rules out any slim hopes of an M1 (which makes sense since the third-generation 1 Series has switched to a front-wheel-drive platform).

“We believe the M Performance cars have enough power and performance and the ratio of what we would have to put into developing high-performance cars in this segment to the result doesn’t make sense at the moment,” Flasch said.