BMW-owned Rolls-Royce says public testing of its all-new aluminium spaceframe architecture is about to begin. A year ago the car maker revealed it was working on a new platform, and the first models using it will launch in 2018. That’s likely to be the 'Cullinan’ ultra-luxury SUV with the Phantom replacement arriving soon after. Expect significantly better performance for future Rolls Royce models and greater refinement along with reduced road noise as well from the platform's greater structural stiffness. New electrical architecture will also mean hybrid and plug-in hybrids are on the cards.
This is the BMW M2, revealed at Detroit. The coupe is powered by a 272kW, single turbo, inline six with an accompanying 465Nm of torque, or 500Nm on overboost. There’s either a seven-speed twin-clutch or six-speed manual trans, and no sissy AWD option. BMW reckons 0-100km/h takes 4.2sec for the auto, 4.5 for the manual. The M2 runs a wider track than the M235i, gets an M variable diff, lots more cooling systems, and wilder styling. It’s said to be lighter too, and more expensive obviously. It’s likely to be offered in two spec grades and is due here in the second quarter.