Irrespective of how arduous it tries, BMW hasn’t been capable of escape the shadow of its legendary sports activities coupes.
From the E30 M3 that began all of it to the E46 M3 that some fanatics argue represents the excessive watermark for the breed, to greater and badder beasts just like the E39 M5, the model is a sufferer of its personal success.
Each time it releases a brand new M coupe, it wants to flee the shadow of previous legends earlier than it may be judged on its deserves. The most recent automobile confronted with that unenviable job is the brand new M2 Coupe.
Below the pores and skin, the M2 has advanced considerably in comparison with its predecessor. Reasonably than an uprated 2 Sequence, it’s grow to be a barely smaller tackle the M3.
It’s being bought as a extra grown-up tackle the system we knew and beloved earlier than, however one which hasn’t misplaced the important small automobile, huge engine magic that outlined it.
We drove the automobile on the highway, monitor, and skid pan to seek out out if BMW has managed the duty.
How a lot does the BMW M2 value?
The M2 Coupe is priced at $121,700 earlier than on-road prices, no matter which transmission you choose.
It’s doable to spend an extra $14,500 on the Carbon Expertise bundle, nevertheless, upping the worth to $136,200 earlier than on-roads.
The M2 goes head-to-head with the Audi RS3 (from $92,370) and Mercedes-AMG A45 S ($119,900).
What’s the BMW M2 like on the within?
The M2 has grown up inside. The outdated automobile was small and fairly easy; the brand new one is wider, and options extra know-how according to the M3.
It’s additionally a automobile the place it pays to tick choices bins rigorously. The carbon bucket seats included within the M Carbon Expertise bundle look unbelievable and maintain you firmly in place, however they don’t play good with the clutch within the handbook.
As a result of it sits fairly centrally within the pedal field, you might want to twist your leg over the carbon centre piece to entry it – and for those who’re broad, the bolsters maintain you in so tight you’ll must do it together with your hips and torso basically locked in place. All that offset twisting had me on the physio desk.
If you need the handbook, we’d be speccing the Consolation seats and pocketing the $15,000.
Seating quirks apart, the cabin seems and feels costly. All of the shiny carbon-fibre is actual, the chubby leather-based steering wheel is beautiful to carry, and the M gear selector feels rock stable when it clunks into place.
Sure, the Mercedes-AMG A45 S and Audi RS3 are good, however neither feels fairly as good because the M2.
The most recent BMW know-how seems sharp, and comes loaded with a full suite of options. When you’ve spent a while getting the house web page arrange many of the capabilities you employ most are inside simple attain, however the choice to maneuver the local weather controls into the show is a step backwards.
Easy duties are harder than they was once, requiring extra time together with your eyes off the highway and fingers off the wheel.
The windscreen demisters have been moved to a spot that’s obscured by drink bottles, and the demise of the eight shortcut buttons which have featured in BMWs for the reason that early days of iDrive is a disgrace.
No less than wi-fi Apple CarPlay works reliably, and all of the motorsports graphics look straight out of a online game.
As for the rear seats? Properly, having them is best than not having them… however they’re finest reserved for teenagers, or adults on very quick drives.
Entry is tight by way of the lengthy doorways, and as soon as again there you will have restricted legroom – though facilities like air vents and USB-C ports are good touches nicked from the M3.
ISOFIX and prime tether factors function on each rear seats. Claimed boot house is 390 litres, and the rear seats fold 40/20/40.
What’s beneath the bonnet?
Energy within the M2 comes from a 3.0-litre turbocharged inline-six engine making 338kW of energy and 550Nm of torque.
That’s down marginally on what you get within the greater M3, but it surely’s price taking into consideration the M2 is lighter and rear-wheel drive solely. Eight-speed computerized and six-speed handbook transmissions are on supply.
The handbook takes a claimed 4.3 seconds within the 100km/h dash, the place the automated is marginally quicker at 4.1 seconds.
With the usual 250km/h limiter eliminated, the M2 will do 285km/h given a protracted sufficient stretch of autobahn.
Claimed gasoline economic system is 9.7 litres per 100km on the mixed cycle, and the M2 drinks 98 RON premium unleaded. The gasoline tank holds 52 litres.
How does the BMW M2 drive?
The M2 was initially fairly arduous to get together with.
The carbon seats are fairly agency, and make it tougher to get to the clutch than they actually ought to, and the gearshift on our check automobile was basic BMW. With a protracted clutch, rubbery shift, and usually unsatisfying motion, it was a little bit of a let down.
Then we drove the identical automobile just a few months later and, with just a few extra kilometres beneath its wheels, all of it got here collectively. It’s nonetheless removed from the final phrase in high quality handbook shifts, but it surely loosened up sufficient to no less than really feel prefer it wasn’t getting in the best way – which is progress.
The very fact this engine is a torquey, versatile beast helps as nicely. Though there’s some turbo lag from proper down low within the rev vary, the M2 will fortunately sit in third gear between basically standstill and freeway speeds. The automated is simpler to make use of once more, slurring easily round city, however the handbook isn’t what you’d name arduous to deal with.
Regardless of its pugnacious exterior and sporty wheel and tyre mixture, you would drive the M2 every single day for those who wanted. It does a superb job maintaining passengers remoted from tough roads in its most relaxed drive mode, and even Sport might theoretically be used on-road.
Put your foot down within the moist and also you’re instantly conscious of how a lot grunt is being despatched to these rear Michelin tyres. BMW’s traction management and stability management are available to maintain issues in verify, but it surely’s not point-and-shoot in any climate just like the M3 with its xDrive system.
All issues thought-about although, you actually can push the M2 on the highway and it doesn’t really feel prefer it’ll chunk.
The entrance finish is razor sharp, and if you get on the throttle you possibly can really feel how fantastically balanced the chassis is. It simply settles right into a basic front-engine, rear-drive stance you possibly can play with utilizing the accelerator, and feels a bit livelier than the heavier M3 with its longer wheelbase and xDrive system.
The power to configure the engine, suspension, brakes, steering, and transmission means you’re capable of artificially engineer out a few of the traits that are likely to get in the best way of German efficiency vehicles on Australian roads.
Pimply backroads can’t undermine the M2’s composure with the suspension flicked to Consolation, for instance, and the steering by no means actually must be in its heaviest setting on the highway. Rev-matching may be toggled on and off, and the throttle may be dulled or sharpened based mostly in your preferences.
However the digital cleverness doesn’t cease there. BMW M suits its vehicles with a 10-stage traction management system designed to make oversteer accessible, however not scary.
Set to 10, it retains an iron grip on the rear axle. Set to 1, it simply gently dulls clumsy inputs whereas the automobile is sliding… however will nonetheless permit you to make an arse of your self for those who’re not cautious.
On the skid pan at The Bend in South Australia, it’s completely hilarious. If you happen to’re skilled, sliding a automobile just like the M2 isn’t significantly troublesome – however not everybody who buys a automobile like this has owned a rear-drive efficiency automobile earlier than, so assuming they’re drift kings is foolish.
And even for those who do know what you’re doing, a bit of additional assist by no means goes astray. With the M Traction Management set to 1, its lowest setting earlier than fully off, I had the M2 sideways round a cone circle for greater than a minute, laughing the entire time.
Once you handle to get the automobile sideways, maintain it on the market, after which easily transition out of it, the M Drift Analyser is there to offer you a score out of 5 stars.
It’s sensible enjoyable on monitor, too. Regardless of being barely down on energy in comparison with the M3, the inline-six completely rips from low within the rev vary, by way of a torque-rich mid-range to its offended prime finish down The Bend’s again straight.
The brakes are mighty, and it’s extra secure than the M3 Touring throughout the huge cease on the finish of the straight earlier than rotating fantastically. There’s little doubt the xDrive system within the M3 is extremely intelligent, however the rear-drive solely M2 feels a bit livelier and lighter on its ft.
It’s fantastically balanced by way of the high-speed sections, and regardless of being overtly rear-wheel drive doesn’t really feel prefer it needs to spit you off the highway.
The eight-speed computerized was one space of concern, given torque converters aren’t recognized for being as sharp as dual-clutch transmissions at full noise.
Don’t be involved; it’s nonetheless intelligent, shifts sharply at full throttle, and rev matches on the best way down by way of the gears beneath heavy braking.
What do you get?
- 19-inch entrance, 20-inch rear alloy wheels
- Adaptive LED headlights
- Auto excessive beam
- Keyless entry and begin
- Adaptive dampers
- Energetic M differential
- Tyre strain monitoring
- Keyless entry and begin (phone-based digital key for auto)
- Ambient inside lighting
- Tri-zone local weather management
- Leather-based ‘Vernasca’ upholstery
- Heated entrance seats
- Electrical seat adjustment
- M-branded seat belts
- Steering wheel heating
- Head-up show
- BMW Stay Cockpit Skilled
- 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster
- 14.9-inch touchscreen
- BMW Working System 8
- Cloud-based maps
- OTA compatibility
- DAB+ digital radio
- Harman Kardon encompass sound system
- Wi-fi Apple CarPlay, Android Auto
- Wi-fi smartphone charging
M Carbon Expertise ($14,500) provides:
- M Carbon bucket seats
- Voucher for BMW M Driving Expertise Advance programs
- High pace improve from 250km/h to 285km/h
Is the BMW M2 secure?
The BMW M2 hasn’t been crash examined by ANCAP or Euro NCAP. The associated 3 Sequence has a five-star score, nevertheless.
Commonplace security options embrace:
- Autonomous emergency braking
- Lane departure warning and steering help
- Attentiveness Assistant
- Blind-spot monitoring
- Rear-cross visitors help
- Energetic cruise management with cease & go (AT)
- Parking Assistant
How a lot does the BMW M2 value to run?
The M2 has a five-year, unlimited-kilometre guarantee like the broader BMW vary.
Upkeep is required each 12 months or 20,000km, and a five-year service bundle will set you again $3480.
CarExpert’s Tackle the BMW M2
The BMW M2 remains to be a quick, enjoyable rear-drive coupe – but it surely’s additionally a extra mature tackle that system.
You could possibly drive one every single day with out an excessive amount of stress (supplied you spec the suitable seats with the handbook), but it surely’s nonetheless comparatively compact within the context of as we speak’s fast-growing new vehicles.
It’s additionally essentially the most partaking, old-school member of the BMW M line-up. Sure, there are electronics available to assist if you need, however you can even swap all of them off and fly by the seat of your pants.
There’ll be some individuals who bemoan the actual fact this isn’t an E30 M3 reincarnate, however that’s simply not doable in 2023. With the instruments at its disposal, BMW has carried out a superb job modernising the idea.
Click on the pictures for the complete gallery
MORE: Every little thing BMW M2