Do you find it difficult to make sense of the recent proliferation of large, crazily powerful electric vehicles? Are anxiety and despair more likely to result from trying to differentiate one Vehicle’s body shape from another? Then it’s possible that you have a condition known as a transitional automotive disorder.
Talk to your local BMW dealer about whether or not the M2 coupe of the second generation is the perfect choice for you. (Side effects may include ecstatic laughter at speeds that are illegal, greater tolerance for g-forces, and a need for deserted roads with tight turns.)
The formula for the new M2 is simple: Take the mechanisms of one of BMW M’s most refined cultures, the one-size-up M4, and reduce them to a more manageable size. Although it is wheelbase and overall length have expanded by 2.1 and 4.1 inches, respectively, to 108.1 and 180.3 inches, this is still a compact rear-wheel-drive frenzy of a car with two confined back seats. It is based on the revised 2-series coupe that was made in Mexico.
Moreover, it is now a touch shorter in stature while being 1.3 inches wider in beam and has wider front and rear tracks that are now comparable to those of the M4. If you want all-wheel drive, you will have to settle for the more practical M240i variant because the M2 is only available with rear-wheel drive. The ductwork on the styled bumpers of the M2 may look disconnected from certain angles, but the upright three-box coupe’s significantly flared fenders give it the attitude of a handsome vintage IMSA racer. To our great relief, the bucktooth maw of the older sibling has not been included.
I’ve watched two reviews already of the new BMW M2. And not only are they not happy with the looks but also performance is not breathtaking pic.twitter.com/o4KapU33nw
— RevzReviewz (@revz_reviewz) April 3, 2023
BMW did include its twin-turbo 3.0-liter inline-six engine in the M2, which was based on the engine found in the M4 as well as the mechanically identical M3 sedan. Despite the fact that the curb weight of the new car is estimated to be around 3800 pounds, the BMW S58 engine produces a robust 453.
This is 20 horsepower less than what it makes in the standard M4, but it is 48 more than what the S55 inline-six produced in the previous M2 Competition (it is a stronger dosage than even the limited-edition 444-hp M2 CS provided). The former seven-speed dual-clutch transmission has been replaced with an eight-speed automatic provided by ZF. The basic transmission is still a six-speed manual, but we have not yet had the opportunity to test drive the automatic transmission.
According to the EPA, both configurations achieve a combined 19 miles per gallon, which is almost the same as the M2 Competition from the generation before this one. On the interstate, it will travel one mile further per gallon, which is not that we require any additional motivation to go with the do-it-yourself gearbox, but the EPA has stated that this is the case.
Launch control should assist the self-shifting M2 in returning an estimated time of 3.6 seconds to reach 60 miles per hour, which is comparable to the automatic M2 CS that we tested previously. We don’t care if it takes a few extra tenths of a second for us to shift the manual transmission’s precise yet rather rubbery shifter through its gates because we’re not racing.
This transmission continues to be one of the most effective remedies for driving monotony that BMW has to offer, and the pedals on the M2 are perfectly positioned for the heel-and-toe dance. It’s business as usual for this great straight-six engine, from the engine’s musical race toward its 7200-rpm redline to the velvety growl it produces through its quad tailpipes. This straight-six engine is awesome.
The primary distinction is that though the M2 generates the same amount of torque as the M4’s headier tune at the same rpm (2650), its thrust rises up more gradually as the revs increase. It is simpler to add power to the vehicle without disrupting its hold on the road because there is a somewhat lower turbo boost pressure to control (17.4 psi as opposed to 18.9 psi in the standard M4).
The rear axle from the M4 together with its electronically controlled limited-slip differential is housed in the reinforced body shell of the M2, along with the brakes, suspension links, and adaptive dampers from that vehicle (15.0-inch rotors with six-piston calipers in front, 14.6-inch single-piston units out back). The propensity of the M2 to rotate on its wheelbase, which is 4.4 inches shorter than that of its big brother, is helped by minor tuning modifications such as springs that are somewhat stiffer in the front and softer in the back.
However, the summer Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires that measure 19 inches in front and 20 inches in the back of the M4 carry over. It should be possible to achieve a skidpad grip of at least 1.0 g. This is the entry point to the M brand, and as such, it will not include carbon-ceramic brakes. It has a starting price of $63,195, which is $3300 more than the previous generation of the M2 Competition but $12,500 less than what BMW was initially asking for the M4. But, there will be an option for track-oriented Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, and a lighter roof made of carbon fiber will also be a possibility.
The business-casual inside is dominated by BMW’s Curved Display, which is a combined 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and 14.9-inch central touchscreen. It contains many of the climate controls that formerly had separate buttons and switches. You still wear this car more than sit in it, especially if you opt for the $9,900 Carbon package and its hard-shell M Carbon bucket seats; we’d avoid them unless you plan to regularly attend track days.
Despite the additional width inside and ample legroom up front, this car still feels more like you’re wearing it than sitting in it. Although they provided exceptional support and were said to result in a weight loss of 24 pounds, the cushioning on their lower backs was extremely stiff, and there was no lumbar adjustability. The basic sport seats, which are made of a softer material but nonetheless feature large side bolsters that kept us securely positioned, are much more acceptable.
The M2’s numerous driving settings have a tendency to be overwhelming at first, but keep in mind that the overarching Sport and Track modes (in addition to the Comfort setting, which is the default) simplify the gauge display, making it simpler to see while traveling at high speeds. Combine the most sporty programming for the engine with the most comfortable suspension mode, as the M2’s ride is still firm and has a limited amount of travel, despite having sufficient compliance to avoid feeling harsh over smoother ground.
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In addition, we suggest turning off the rev-matching feature of the manual transmission, setting the steering response to comfort (Sport increases effort but not tactility), and without changing the feel of the brake pedal at all because we were unable to differentiate between the two modes. The M4 includes a Drift Analyzer that can score your slides around a racetrack, but the most welcome update is the revised stability control system that features 10 different levels of traction control intervention.
The most crucial thing to note is that the M2 still overwhelms your senses as it writhes over the undulating pavement. Its surge of midrange power enables you to precisely alter its attitude by manipulating the throttle. The chassis takes a set and cleanly orients itself over mid-corner bumps, softly telegraphing load transfers to your rear end.
The turn-in reaction is sharp. Its hefty steering wheel has a lighter feel than, for example, the one on a Porsche 718 since it uses the same variable steering technology as the M4. But, the general refinement and stability of this Bavarian muscle coupe have been improved, which has contributed to an increase in driver confidence and made the feistiness of this vehicle more enjoyable to live with.
Because transitional automotive disorder spreads freely in the open market and is fueled by environmental and societal pressures, the medical community has not been able to develop a treatment for it yet. But, thanks in large part to its fruitful looting of BMW’s parts bin, the new M2 provides potent alleviation by effectively targeting regions of the brain that are connected with pleasure and fine motor control. This is a powerful medicine that should be taken by the driver’s soul.