The BMW M division has produced some serious machinery over the years. Think back to the e30 M3, the e46 M3 CSL, the e90 M3, the 1M coupé and the e85 M coupé; the list just seems to go on and on. The M Division is heavily into turbo-charging now, as seen in the X5 and X6 M, the M6, M5, M4 and M3 models. Now though, there’s a smaller BMW performance car… the M2, which has been launched internationally and will arrive locally next month.
So...is it a glorified M235i?
Well, not exactly. The vehicle’s tracks are some 64mm wider at the front and 71mm at the rear versus the 2 Series, while the suspension has been revised to include more aluminium components. There’s also an Active M Differential to help put all that power down and of course allow drivers to hold big smokey drifts.
How about the exterior and interior?
The M2 also looks a fair bit different to a regular 2 Series; it gets a muscular body treatment, flared arches, massive 19-inch alloy wheels shod with Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres, a rear diffuser, quad exhaust pipes and a small boot spoiler.
Inside, one will find lashings of leather and Alcantara, sports seats and a few features that have tech geeks like us here at Autodealer salivating. There is GoPro functionality built in to the iDrive infotainment system, which means you can control your action camera from the vehicle’s infotainment screen. There’s also the option of a Bluetooth-controlled exhaust system, which allows the user to activate the sports exhaust system from his/her smartphone.
What’s under the hood?
The M2 makes use of a modified version of the 3.0-litre single turbo N55 straight six units, seen in many x35i models; the M2’s unit is named the N55B30T0. The motor produces some 272kW/465Nm with 500Nm available as part of an overboost function. The car is available with either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual-clutch DCT gearbox. The difference in performance between the two transmissions sees the manual-equipped car get from 0-100km/h in 4.5 seconds, while the dual-clutch does the same benchmark in just 4.3 seconds.
Did someone say burnout mode?
You read right! The M2 with the DCT gearbox comes with several driving modes ranging from Comfort through to Sport+. The DCT also features a launch control function and get this… BMW’s Smoky Burnout function for when you need those rear tyres to be extra sticky, a sort of rival function to the ‘Drift mode’ that Ford has placed in the new Focus RS.
BMW’s baby M car will go toe-to-toe with the Audi RS3, the Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG and Ford’s upcoming Focus RS however, judging by the Bavarian’s pricing, the M2 seems to be a bit more expensive than its rivals. No matter though as the first batch of M2’s have already been spoken for.
What’s it like?
We will be driving the car in the coming weeks and will provide a detailed driving impression after the fact.
BMW M2 6-speed manual - R791 000
BMW M2 DCT - R841 900