You kids keep saying that the inline 6 has a tradition in the m3 and so on. First m3 - the e30 had a 4cylinder in the same chasis that carried 2,5l inline sixes. Yes the 4banger made more hp, yes it had less torque and narrower powerband. The second gen had a 3.0 and later a 3.2 liter inline six with vanos. At this point, when you don't know what vanos is, you should proceed to another hobby. There was no US version of these, because the US rip-off was a joke. I mean, get rid of individual throttle bodies and vanos for money saving purposes. The third gen, e46 had a 3.2 inline six again, then came a V8 and now an inline six. What you kids need to realize is, that there is no traditional engine for any car in bmw lineup and the M badge makes no difference. They would send out e39 bmw 5s with tiny 4bangers, slant sixes, lumpy v8s, they would put a 3cyl in the i8 and so on.
The engine type and layout decision IS LARGELY DECIDED BY THE GOVERNING BODY OF A RACING SERIES AND BY AN EU DECISION ON WHAT IS EFFICIENT AND GREEN. That is why we have 3cyl front wheel drive mpv and suvs with the bmw logo on them. But be thankful for such cars, since they can feed the investors and make the comitees happy and they then go and sign a project as the m2. Which in my eyes is the same old recipe e46 size and weight with a bonkers engine and you just need to forgive them that shift auto blip bs. The russians need to hack that n then you would gladly forget about the seats not being mounted str8.