With a maximum output of 460hp – 90hp more than the original BMW M2 – and driving dynamics honed during in-depth testing on the Nürburgring’s Nordschleife circuit and other race tracks, the new M2 is another highlight in the model offensive celebrating the 50-year anniversary of BMW M GmbH.
The advances over the first-generation BMW M2, which became the largest-selling model in the BMW 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 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 to 285kph.
The new BMW M2 is built alongside the new BMW 2 Series Coupé at the BMW Group’s San Luis Potosí plant in Mexico.
It is the only model in its premium compact segment to be offered with a six-cylinder in-line engine.
Developing a maximum 460hp from its advanced engine, the new BMW M2 outguns the base unit used by the original BMW M2 by 90hp.
Indeed, its output is even 10hp higher than that of the special-edition BMW M2 CS from the previous model generation.
The 3.0-litre unit differs only in a small number of details from the engine employed in the BMW M3/BMW M4 models.
The straight-six engine combines the latest M TwinPower Turbo technology with the high-revving characteristics of an M car.
Peak torque of 550Nm is produced between 2,650 and 5,870rpm and maximum output arrives at 6,250rpm. The engine revs to a maximum 7,200rpm.
The M-specific exhaust system with electrically controlled flaps generates an emotionally rich soundtrack. It terminates in a large silencer, from which the exhaust gases escape via a quartet of tailpipes in customary BMW M fashion.
The new M2 comes as standard with an eight-speed M Steptronic transmission with Drivelogic.
However, a six-speed manual gearbox is optional.
The Gear Shift Assistant uses engagement speed control to ensure slip-free operation when downshifting under braking into corners. It can be deactivated in the M Setup menu.
There are shift paddles on the steering wheel for performing manual shifts with sequential gear selection.
It is also possible to execute multiple downshifts to the lowest available gear in manual mode for a sudden burst of acceleration.
M Steptronic does not force upshifts under acceleration in manual mode – even when the engine’s revs hit the limiter.
The rear-wheel drive M2 come with standard Active M Differential, which can halt rotational speed compensation between the rear wheels whenever required and generate a locking effect of up to 100 per cent.
M Servotronic steering and adaptive M suspension are also standard.
The M Compound brakes – comprising six-piston, fixed-calliper brakes with 380mm discs at the front wheels and their single-piston, floating-calliper counterparts with integrated parking brake and 370mm discs at the rear – deliver outstanding stopping power.
The new M2 has an M-specific version that presents the driver with two pedal feel settings, allowing them to choose between more comfort-oriented or very direct execution of brake pedal inputs.
Also standard are double-spoke M light-alloy wheels measuring 19-inch at the front and 20-inch at the rear, shod with tyres measuring 275/35 ZR19 and 285/30 ZR20 at the front and rear respectively.
Track tyres are also available as an option, in conjunction with the M Race Track Package.
Measuring 4,575mm from nose to tail, 1,887mm wide and 1,403mm in height, it is 114mm longer than its predecessor, 16mm wider and 11mm lower. It is 219mm shorter than the BMW M4 Coupé models.
The 2,747mm wheelbase of the new BMW M2 makes a prominent contribution to its fingertip agility. It is 110mm shorter than that of the BMW M4 Coupé but 54mm longer than its predecessor, delivering more legroom in both rows of seats.
The new M2 comes with a lightweight M Carbon roof as standard.
The standard M Sport seats, heated and upholstered in Vernasca Black or Cognac leather, come with electrical adjustment.
Meanwhile, the optional M Carbon bucket seats, also fully electric and heated, offer a weight saving of nearly 11kg over the M Sport seats.
The rear backrest also has a 40:20:40 split and, when the backrest is upright, there is 390 litres of boot space.
M interior trim strips in Carbon Fibre are standard, with the shift paddles and trim on the M leather steering wheel also having a CFRP finish.
Three-zone automatic climate control, acoustic glazing for the windscreen and a rain sensor with automatic headlight activation are standard on the M2, along with ambient lighting, electrically adjustable and heated exterior mirrors, a Harman Kardon Surround Sound System, a Bluetooth interface and two USB ports.
The new M2 is equipped as standard with Parking Assistant with rear view camera and front and rear sensors, Cruise Control with brake function, Front Collision Warning with brake intervention, Lane Departure Warning including lane return, the Attentiveness Assistant and the Speed Limit Display with no-overtaking indicator and Manual Speed Limit Assist.
The standard BMW Curved Display in the new BMW M2 cockpit is formed by a 12.3-inch information display and a control display with a screen diagonal of 14.9 inches.
Also standard is smartphone integration for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.