Feel like the M brand is drowning in a sea of crossovers and Gran Coupes? Worried it stands more for “marketing” than anything else? Do you long for the days when an M badge meant the car was built only for the purists? The good news is that BMW is here with a love letter for enthusiasts—a two-character letter spelled M2.

The 2 Series is already a car we love dearly. It’s fun, it’s agile, it has plenty of power in four- or six-cylinder trims, and it even looks pretty good. Now it’s back with the full-on M treatment, and the result is the car we’ve always wanted.

First, the engine. It’s a 3.0-liter turbo inline six unit officially rated in U.S. spec at 365 horsepower and 343 lb-ft of torque; that gets the boost to 369 lb-ft between 1,450 and 4,750 RPM. That puts it at 70 lb-ft over the old M3, and 45 HP over the M235i. Off to a good start, I think.

As was reported earlier today, numerous engine parts come off the new M3/M4, like the pistons, crankshaft main bearing shells and more. There’s also a modified oil sump to keep things lubricated during your next track day. Also lifted off the M3 and M4 is a six-speed manual with automatic rev matching.

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Unlike the old 1M Coupe, there’s the option here of a seven-speed dual clutch transmission, also like the M3 and M4. But that’s a solid unit, and it’s actually faster 0-60 MPH with the DCT: 4.2 seconds versus 4.4 for the manual. Curb weight is at 3,450 for the DCT version and 3,505 for the manual version, according to BMW’s U.S. specs (ETA: although I think this is a mistake on their part because the DCT is listed as the heavier car elsewhere in the world.)

Other tweaks: lightweight 19-inch forged wheels, high-performance brakes, M-tuned electric steering, an electronically controlled multi-plate limited-slip differential, a stability control setting that allows for on-track drifts without letting you kill yourself or other people, am additional oil cooler for the transmission oil on the DCT model, and much more. You can have it any color you want as long as it’s blue, white, black and gray.

Basically, it sounds like BMW took the 2 Series—already a great machine—and added just the right amount of M-stuff. It seems to be a great package. Pricing was not announced by BMW today, but insiders have pitched it in the low-$50,000 range.

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Is this the M-car to get right now? It might just be.

Update: Here’s a video full of drifting and rock and roll music and the 1M AND E30 M3! Such fun.


Contact the author at patrick@jalopnik.com.