Take a regular BMW, hand it over to the M Division, and wait for the magic to happen.
It’s been a tried and tested formula over the years and BMW has clearly figured out it’s a winning one. That ‘Ultimate Driving Machine’ tagline may not apply to every car it’s produced since the slogan first appeared in the 1970s, but when you add the M badge to the mix you’re definitely getting close. The brand-new BMW M2 intends to prove the point.
The 2 Series is already a good-looking compact coupe with the typically balanced feel of a BMW. Squeezing 460bhp under the bonnet promises to make it a startlingly quick one, too.
The new M2 is longer and wider than both the regular 2 Series and the current M2 on sale in the UK. That means extra stability, agile handling, and a little bit of extra legroom.
The front end is chunkier and a bit more aggressive with adaptive LED headlights as standard. In an effort to save weight and lower the centre of gravity the new M2 also features a carbon roof, which also happens to look rather good too.
At the rear you’ll find the obligatory boot spoiler and a new rear diffuser housing two pairs of exhausts. The whole package sits on big, wide alloy wheels – 19 inch on the front and 20 inch at the back – that come as standard in black but can be specified with a bi-colour finish. Opt for the M Race Track package and you also have the option of track tyres too.
The updates are evident on the interior too.
The traditional cockpit dials and centre mounted infotainment system have gone, replaced with a curved display screen that stretches across the dashboard. It’s made up of a 12.3-inch information display and a control display with a screen diagonal of 14.9 inches.
All the usual infotainment and settings are accessed via the central section while the smaller screen displays the driver information. The standard black leather sports seats can also be upgraded with optional M Carbon bucket seats. Both offer electric adjustment and both are also heated so it really comes down to whether you think it’s worth the 11kg weight saving, although the bucket seats do add an extra sporty feel to the interior. The new M2 also boasts a suitably impressive equipment list to go with the new look.
Three-zone automatic climate control, acoustic glazing for the windscreen and a rain sensor with automatic headlight activation are standard on the BMW M2, along with ambient lighting, electrically adjustable and heated exterior mirrors, a Harman Kardon Surround Sound System, a Bluetooth interface and two USB ports. There’s also an option for wireless phone charging.
You also get the BMW Maps navigation system and M-specific Head-Up Display as standard, and the infotainment system also includes full smartphone integration. BMW’s voice activation system also allows you to perform tasks such as adjusting the air conditioning or opening and closing windows without taking your hands off the wheel, or your eyes off the rapidly approaching horizon.
All of which brings us neatly to the meat on the bones of the new BMW M2, and the bit you really want to know about.
And that’s the 460bhp sitting under the bonnet
The power comes from a 3.0-litre, twin-turbo, straight-six engine sending all of its considerable grunt to the rear wheels. It’s essentially – minus a few little tweaks here and there – the same engine that powers both the M3 and M4 models. It’s got an extra 90bhp over the outgoing M2, and to put it into context it’s even more powerful than the tuned-up special edition M2 CS of the previous generation.
Thanks to clever bits of engineering like rigid crankcases, high precision fuel injection, friction-optimised cylinder bores, variable timing, a crankshaft drive with high torsional rigidity, and a lightweight forged crankshaft the new M2 should be quite something to drive. And if that last sentence didn’t make much sense…..it will hit 60mph in 4 seconds and keep going until the electronic limiter kicks in at 155mph. Unless you opted for the M Race Track package, in which case you won’t stop accelerating until you hit 177mph.
And if you’re really serious about capturing the essence of man and machine in harmony, the new BMW M2 even has the option to swap the eight-speed automatic for a six-speed manual gearbox.
The new BMW M2 builds on its predecessor’s strengths to deliver an even greater driving experience. It’s definitely got the power to match the pedigree, and the agility to put an enormous smile on your face even on the most mundane of journeys.
The only downside of all of this is that you’re going to have to wait until May 2023 before you can get your hands on one. At least that gives you plenty of time to decide which colour to choose for your new BMW M2 lease car.
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