Klaus Fröhlich, BMW's research and development chief, claims the next M2 has one heck of an internal nickname: "drift machine."
The Australian website Motoring reported Friday that Fröhlich took responsibility for coining the internal nickname and he wants to ensure fans that the next M2 will still be a real driver's car. He joked the name gives him ammunition to push designers in the right direction.
"The next-generation 2-Series will be called the drift machine, so whenever I look at the design I can say, ‘Adrian (van Hooydonk, BMW design chief), does that really look like a drift machine? It should have more thrill, do something more’," he said.
Fröhlich also noted that if he drives the car as it's being developed, he can ask if it lives up to its nickname. Is it a drift machine? It appears sideways action has become a guiding principle for the next M2.
Fröhlich fought hard to keep the car rear-wheel drive and not follow the 1-Series' move to a front-wheel-drive architecture shared with Mini. He noted people may say the segment is too small for an RWD car like the 2-Series, but he declared it's too important for the brand and for the M division to forego RWD. Not only will the M2 be a riot sideways, but both the M2 and 2-Series "will have the power where you need it," he added.
The M2 isn't the only BMW with a cheeky internal nickname, though. Fröhlich BMW said the new X5 was referred to as "the boss" and the upcoming X6 is called "the beast." Rather aggressive names for SUVs, but the BMW executive said each name ensures every vehicle has a different character.