The first time I took the wheel of a BMW M2 I was totally impressed, it was my kinda car. For many, they see it in the shadows of the M3 but now comes news of a very rapid, tarmac hugging example; the new M2 CS which is BMW’s first CS model in the premium compact high-performance sector and is one rung up the performance ladder from the M2 Competition.
It is set to build on the success already achieved by the impressive M3 CS and M4 CS models. Power output is 450bhp courtesy of a straight six engine with rest to 100kph (62mph) in just four seconds and a top speed of 280kph (174mph). While you can enjoy it in most driving situations, I feel the real enjoyment would be having some track time at Mondello Park or Kirkistown circuits. Described as a sports car for everyday use, this special edition will be offered in limited numbers and will form the basis for the M2 CS Racing model, BMW M Motorsport’s new entry point to amateur racing and the new Clubsport segment. The newcomer blends outstanding track performance with unrestricted everyday usability and sets new, class-leading standards for acceleration, handling dynamics, precision and agility designed to stir the emotions of a younger target audience.
An array of carbon fibre-reinforced plastic components conveys the sports pedigree of the M2 CS. To achieve maximum agility, the M2 CS features Adaptive M suspension, Michelin Cup tyres and standard M Sport brakes with red-painted callipers, while M Carbon ceramic brakes are available as an option. Both the bonnet and the roof are made entirely from carbon fibre and the bonnet includes a central air vent in High-gloss Black designed to aid engine cooling and increase the cars down force over the front wheels. Bonnet weight has been halved, while the new roof makes the body more rigid and appears to have been cut from the same mould as the rest of the car; no trim strips are needed, meaning no visible joins either. This has the additional effect of enhancing acoustics, both inside and outside the car.
Dispensing with the customary roof bows and insulation also saves weight and, together with the lighter bonnet, this serves to lower the vehicle’s centre of gravity, resulting in even better driving dynamics. The new front splitter, the Gurney spoiler lip on the boot lid and the rear diffuser are all made from exposed carbon fibre and these three add-ons increase down force and optimise aerodynamics; the iconic M wing mirrors are in matching carbon fibre.
Other features a redesigned dual-branch exhaust system with its quartet of stainless-steel tailpipes with M logo, and the car carries an M2 CS badge at the rear. The Misano Blue metallic paint finish is exclusive, whilst three other colours from the M2 Competition are optionally available (Hockenheim Silver, Black Sapphire and Alpine White). Adaptive M suspension and M Sport brakes and Adaptive M suspension gives drivers the choice of Comfort, Sport and Sport+ modes, each of which alters the damper settings. Comfort mode is largely for everyday use, while Sport lends itself to powering along country roads.
Should you decide to take the M2 CS out on a track, you will want to select Sport+; which delivers the firmest chassis setup, minimises body movement and maximises dynamic performance. Electric Power Steering with M-specific characteristics controls power assistance electronically according to the car’s speed and the Drivelogic settings selected; this allows you to adapt the level of power assistance to suit personal preferences and is also adjusted in line with the three suspension modes. Brakes also benefit from the motor racing experience and are larger than those fitted to the M and there is the option of M Carbon ceramic brakes. Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) is aided by the Active M Differential to enhance traction and handling stability. As part of DSC, you can select M Dynamic Mode (MDM) to allow a greater degree of wheel slip, which can be useful in certain situations such as high-speed track driving. The BMW M2 CS rides on 19-inch V-spoke Jet Black forged wheels that have been developed with M GmbH engineers applying the principles of systematic lightweight design. As a result, the front wheels weigh just 9kg while the rears add less than 10kg. The wheels can also be specified in an optional matt gold finish and the front wheels use 245/35 ZR 19 Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres with 265/35 ZR 19 tyres at the rear. Those intending to use their M2 CS mainly for everyday driving can select the no cost option of Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres, which generate more grip on wet roads than the Cup 2 tyres.