According to BMW, “M” is the most powerful letter in the alphabet. M also equates to emotion and motorsports, and with 50 years of engineering experience under its belt BMW M continues to innovate and inspire with roadrunners such as the second generation M2, your entry into the M club. Performance stems from an M TwinPower Turbo inline 6-cylinder which produces 453 German horses for its RWD platform. A standard 6-speed manual gearbox or the renowned 8-speed M Steptronic transmission with Drivelogic pair with the engine. Built at BMW’s San Luis Potosí plant in Mexico, the base MSRP is $62,200 plus $995 destination and handling.
BMW M has sold 60,000 M2s over seven years, so they have a successful model to build upon. The widened M2 features all the technology of the M4 and rides on a wheelbase longer than its predecessor. Thus, the small sports car is stable at high speeds as I witnessed during test driving along the desert roads of Arizona. Stylistically, the athletic proportions of the M2 are uniquely sculpted and set apart from its M3 and M4 siblings, with ultra-sharp and edgy features. Some M2 fans will love the futuristic design ethos and others will not. The front fascia is governed by a wide, frameless BMW twin-kidney grille while aggressively flared side skirts flow into broad, muscular wheel arches to create a motorsport demeanor. Staggered 19″ front and 20″ rear M double-spoke light-alloy rims in Jet Black and quad circular tips complete the appearance. The M Specific Exhaust System with electrically controlled flaps allows the M2 to change its attitude when the driver is ready to change theirs.
Inside the racy cockpit, M branding is omnipresent such as the illuminated seat emblem by night and M insignia within the M Sport seats, thick M steering wheel, seatbelts, and door panels. These subtle design enhancements are minor but have impactful implications. In addition, the 27.2” BMW Curved Display is angled towards the driver and incorporates iDrive 8, BMW Maps, and M-specific content to make the intuitive touch controls more straightforward. Finally, to elevate your M2 flow with the optional Carbon Package including an M Carbon Roof, M Carbon Bucket Seats in Black, full Merino Leather with M Color highlights, and Carbon Fiber trim. Thankfully, my ride was blessed with Carbon Fiber componentry for the steering wheel, paddle shifters, center stack, and console.
On open roads the M2 flies like the wind from 406 lb-ft of torque (produced between 2,650 and 5,870 rpm) and steers with the precision of Motogp bikes on winding bends. Of course, the red M1 and M2 buttons customize vehicle settings such as the Engine, Steering, Chassis, Braking, etc. You can also use the M Setup menu to manipulate these settings, whether COMFORT, SPORT, or SPORT PLUS modes. For example, the M2 was docile and felt normal and relaxed in COMFORT mode. It was not aggressive but can still get out when required. The brake setting is new and does not change the vehicle’s stopping power, only the position and feel of the pedal.
The level of individualization for the transmission is deep and methodical with six Drivelogic shift modes: three for manual mode and three for automatic. Moreover, you can use the carbon fiber paddles for shifting or the gear selector. BMW M also enhanced the overall performance of the M2 with standard M Drive Professional featuring a Drift Analyzer and 10-position M Traction Control. The M2 darts 0 to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds with the 6-speed while the 8-speed M Steptronic trims that time to 3.9 seconds.
The new BMW M2 is currently available in two solid and three metallic exterior hues: Alpine White, Black Sapphire metallic, Brooklyn Grey metallic, Toronto Red metallic, and the new Zandvoort Blue. Are you ready for a “small and in-charge” attitude from your ride? If so, the M2 is at your disposal with stellar acceleration, pinpoint braking, and slalom-like pivots while bursting through the unknown.