The BMW M2 has Landed and it’s a Cracker!

andrew Cars

It was inevitable. After the release and warm reception of the not quite M car M135i, and the introduction of the 1 series coupe, the 2 series and its equivalent M235i, it was only a matter of time before we saw a BMW M2 come along. Well it’s been worth the wait. But it does seem to me somewhat that BMW has shot itself in the foot. With beautiful lithe proportions and the same performance available, why would anyone buy an M4 over the cheaper, more agile M2?

Headline Figures:

  • 3 litre twin scroll turbo’d straight six producing 370bhp and 343lb/ft
  • CO2 emissions 199g/km
  • 0–100kph in 4.5 s (4.3 with 7 speed DCT)
  • 19” forged alloys
  • Manual gearbox receives auto blipping on downshifts
  • engine can produce as much as 369lb/ft (500NM) of torque on overboost.

The Powerplant

The beating heart of every M car is its engine, and this one is bristling full of technology. It has the usual BMW engineering; double-VANOS variable camshaft timing, and Valvetronic variable valve control, a twin scroll turbocharger which is integrated into the exhaust manifold. Despite being turbocharged it revs to 7000rpm, and (most important for a turbo’d motor) all of that 343lb/ft of torque is available from 1400rpm to 5500rpm, a truly flat torque curve. That’s a flexible motor, one which won’t be out-dragged by a turbo diesel rep-mobile. The turbo has an electronically operated boost pressure control valve, and despite the prodigious power available, BMW’s engineers say that the car can return 35mpg on the combined cycle. We’ll see about that, but I’d expect mid to high 20s achievable in normal brisk driving. The M2 borrows from its bigger siblings the M3 and M4; employing its pistons, cast iron liners, and crankshaft main bearing shells. As you might expect, the BMW M2 engine also comes specified with high temperature spark plugs. The sump has an additional oil scavenger pump to maintain engine oil lubrication under extreme lateral loading e.g track days, and an additional oil cooler (for DCT equipped cars) and an additional water cooler for the engine. The sound from the quad tailpipes can be tweaked using the Driving Experience Control switch, although whether this is a real sound affected by the baffles on the exhausts, or something more synthetic, we will have to wait and see.

Gearbox

The manual ‘box is a dry sump affair, and comes with an auto blipping function to match the engine revs for smoother downshifts, in case your heel and toe technique is not quite up to scratch. The DCT is the latest generation seven speed gearbox with the usual Comfort, Sport, and Sport+ settings. These can be selected using the Driving Experience Control switch

Smokey Burnout

In today’s modern cars with all their clever safety systems, its often hard to have some good old fashioned fun. Never fear, the M2 come with the ‘Smokey Burnout’ (a la Smokey and the Bandit) function. As BMW puts it: “the Smokey Burnout function invites the driver to indulge in a degree of rear wheel spin while the car is moving at low speeds”. Nice. Seems they thought of everything.

Wheels, Tyres and Brakes

The M2 comes as standard on Michelin Pilot Super Sport Tyres; 245/35 ZR19 at the front and 265/35/ZR19 at the back. Front brakes are four piston fixed calipers, rears two piston fixed. Wheels are 19” as standard forged aluminium. The M-Differential is electronically locking, and cleverly deploys between 0 and 100 percent locking depending on the driving conditions, and the DSC. On track, deploying M Dynamic Mode allows a greater level of wheelspin before reining it all in. Looks wise, I think M division have done a cracking job. Where the M235i was a practice piece of styling, we can now see in the M2, the finished article. It has the protruding front and rear bumpers of the M4, the swelled arches over the wider tracked wheels, and scalloped sides. If you’ll allow me the expression, it looks fat with a ph. The car’s stying mimics the bigger M4, but somehow looks better in a smaller more dynamic frame. Let’s hope it looks as good in real life as it does in the photos