Do You know these Things about BMW M2?
As much as we like to breathe clean air, tougher automotive emissions requirements have often had a downside for high-performance cars. But then there’s the case of the new BMW M2 Competition, which will come to market later this year and replace the current M2—already one of our all-time favorites.
To make the M2 comply with upcoming emissions regulations, BMW would have needed to extensively rework the 370-hp N55 inline-six engine. Re-engineering the M2’s N55 engine would have been one option. We’re glad BMW M chief Frank van Meel and his team chose the other option: to transplant the M3/M4’s more powerful S55 inline-six into the M2.
Detuned from 444 to 405 ponies, the twin-turbocharged S55’s peak horsepower is available from 5230 to 7000 rpm, and maximum torque of 406 lb-ft is served up between 2350 and 5230 rpm (redline is 7600 rpm). Top speed is 155 mph, although you can opt for a 174-mph governor (part of the M Driver’s package), which is 6 mph faster than before. The S55 yanks the M2 Competition from zero to 60 mph in just 4.2 seconds, says BMW. The figure drops to 4.0 seconds when the quicker (but 55 pounds heavier) seven-speed M DCT dual-clutch automatic transmission is specified in place of the standard six-speed manual. Rowing through the gears yourself, however, is a pleasure that a good 50 percent of M2 customers still prefer. It’s hampered only by the rev-matching system that not only comes standard on the M2 but that can’t be switched off unless you turn off stability control.
To put its power onto the road, BMW has stiffened the M2 Competition’s front end with a carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic strut-tower brace, taken from the M3/M4. The Dynamic Steering Control system and the Active M differential have been tweaked, as has the stability-control system. New M Sport brakes have larger rotors squeezed by six-piston calipers up front and four-piston units at the rear. New 19-inch wheels are wrapped by 245/35R19 front tires and 265/35R19 rears.
To make sure your neighbors notice the new model, it comes with a wider kidney grille as well as larger front intakes that reflect this engine’s healthy appetite for air and feed three radiators. Moreover, there are two new available hues, Hockenheim Silver and Sunset Orange Metallic, and the exterior mirrors have a new shape. The interior benefits from new available M Sport seats (with a light-up M2 logo), a red button to fire up the engine, and refined decor. New switches on the center console allow for selection of different modes for the steering, throttle, and transmission. Combinations can be stored and called up via the M1 and M2 buttons on the steering wheel. BMW Active Driving Assistant and Park Distance Control are now standard.
There is only one downside to the M2 Competition, which replaces the current M2: It is almost certain to use more gasoline than its predecessor. But, hey, you can’t have everything. Given its performance improvements, we’ll opt for “better emissions” anytime.