BMW M, (M for Motorsport) was initially created to facilitate the growth of BMW’s track and road racing programme, back in 1972. Six years later, building on their growing technical nous and racing pedigree, BMW launched its incredibly successful line of modified and enhanced M-badged road cars. The first M car debuted at the 1978 Paris Motor Show; the M1, a mid-engined sports car. A year later, in a move that redefined the modern sports car concept, the second, the M535i was launched; a high-performance version of its 5 Series and with it the M legend was born. Today M-badged cars are available across almost the entire range with modified, more powerful engines, upgraded transmission and suspension, sports interiors, plus aerodynamic and exterior modifications that set them apart from the standard models in terms of prestige, performance and panache. The eagerly awaited BMW M2 is the latest development and presents itself as a pure driver’s car, and may well prove to be a 21st century classic.
The turbo power unit is based on the six-cylinder 326bhp engine of the M235i, but with M3 pistons, a new induction system, and revised and improved cooling and oil systems the M unit produces 370bhp and is delivered via the superb and smooth seven-speed M Double Clutch Transmission with Drivelogic. A speed of 100 kph is achieved in just 4.3 seconds and with a top speed of 250 kph, the M2 is no slouch and yet delivers a combined fuel economy of almost 13 kilometres per litre.
Understated it is not and the BMW M2 Coupé styling simply enhances its raw potential. At 80mm wider than the standard model 2 Series Coupé, it features classic BMW racing lines. From the low front apron air scoops leading via the famous BMW twin grill to the bonnet with its raised centre, there is more than a hint at the power lurking beneath. The car is booted with 19-inch aluminium wheels in the classic M double-spoke design, while the low slung coupé styling takes the eye to the wide rear with the M-specific twin-tailpipes that play the symphony of M power.
∞ Behind the wheel
Inside the cabin Alcantara leather with contrasting stitching and M embossing meets carbon fibre in a modern incarnation of the original M Sports look. With bolstered sports seats, M sports steering wheel and gearshift lever, the design is practical as well as aesthetically pleasing. BMW’s ConnectedDrive system is standard on the M2. This includes various apps including a GoPro app to record your driving via GoPro camera. The M Laptimer app records and analyses your driving and, via the ConnectedDrive system all can be shared directly from the car to your social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter. Behind the driver there are two individual rear seats in a cabin that is surprisingly spacious. Headroom is excellent but as with most coupés it is tighter in the back seats. That said elbow space is generous and the large windows let in plenty of light. At 390 litres, the coupé’s boot is actually larger the comparable BMW hatchback and larger than many of the hot hatches currently available.
With the M2, BMW has given us a coupé that is as at home on the street as it is on the track. It is a driver’s car, make no mistake and yet it is also practical and functional and remarkably economical too. The M2 has a launch-control feature and different selectable driving modes are ideal for adapting to different driving conditions. Select from Comfort, Sport or Sport+, the latter engages M Dynamic mode, which tweaks the car’s electronic stability control system making it stiffer, more responsive and easier to slide. To see the M2 Coupé, arrange a test drive or discuss pricing please contact your nearest BMW dealer.