Yet another chapter is to be added to the BMW M story with the arrival of a new M2, however it is not expected until the Spring of next year. There is no doubt at all though, that it will be worth the wait.
The new model builds on its formidable predecessor’s strengths to deliver an even greater driving experience, taking the formula of a classic high-performance sports car and reproducing it in highly concentrated form with cutting-edge technology. Driving joy is assured courtesy of its compact dimensions, a six-cylinder in-line engine, a manual gearbox option, rear-wheel drive and an advanced control/operating concept, allowing the driver to adjust the vehicle setup as desired; these are all central to its appeal. Surefooted agility on demand and handling that remains easily controllable even as the driver explores the coupé’s limits are at the very core of the newcomer.
The distinct character profile of the new M2 is reflected in a powerful design that conveys its segment-leading power, even before it turns a wheel. With a maximum output of 460bhp, which is 90bhp more than the original M2 and exhilarating driving dynamics that have been honed during in-depth testing on the Nurburgring’s Nordschleife circuit and other race tracks, the new M2 represents another highlight in the model offensive celebrating the 50 year anniversary of BMW. There is a transmission choice; standard an eight-speed M Steptronic transmission with Drivelogic, however, a six-speed manual gearbox is optional, which creates a performance experience in the classical mould. The gear ratios and gear spread are perfectly matched to the performance characteristics of the engine and a precisely defined shift action enables rapid, easily executed gear changes. Plus, the Gear Shift Assistant uses engagement speed control to ensure slip-free operation when downshifting under braking into corners and it can be deactivated in the M Setup menu. The eight-speed M Steptronic transmission is also distinguished by ratio spacing perfectly matched to the engine’s characteristics and offers sporty gear shifts. The broadly spread gears assist efficiency at low engine speeds while enabling an intense build-up of power from low road speeds. The M Servotronic steering facilitates accurate turn-in when powering through bends on the one hand and effortless parking and manoeuvring on the other and there is a choice of two settings for steering response in the M Setup menu, Comfort and Sport. The adaptive M suspension that also comes as standard features electronically controlled dampers designed to maximise road contact and traction in all driving situations.
The two door coupe embodies an unadulterated racing passion that drivers can enjoy day in, day out, along with a comprehensive specification ensuring it is as comfortable tackling the city as it is the most demanding race circuits. The advances over the first-generation model, which became the largest-selling model in the M line-up with almost 60,000 examples sold worldwide, are evident not just from the car’s sharper performance but also its far more extensive standard specification. A number of options are available for enhancing driving comfort or adding even more visual excitement to both the exterior and interior. A standout optional extra is the bespoke M Race Track Package that is designed to maximise the performance experience, its benefits including raising the electronically limited top speed of 250kph (155mph) to 285kph (177mph.) Of interest this potent new offering will be built in Mexico alongside the 2 Series Coupe at the San Luis Potosi facility.
I drove the original, now fingers crossed I trust the opportunity will come to sample that extra 90bhp.