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Thursday, October 15, 2015

BMW’s M Department Just Gave Us 2 More Reasons to be Excited


Copyright © 2015 Bold Ride LLC.

You can’t have one without the other; peanut butter and jelly, for example, or Simon and Garfunkel. In the world of BMW, a vehicle without an even hotter M performance badge just seems kind of…pointless. Thankfully, the M2 has just arrived on the scene, and it looks like it’s going to be a heavy hitter.
Picking up where the potent-enough M235i leaves off, the new M2 packs more power and more performance over nearly every inch. At its heart is a 3.0-liter inline-six that sucks up air through a TwinScroll turbocharger, pumping out 365 horsepower and 343 lb.-ft. torque. That’s a nice 45-horsepower and 13 lb.-ft. of torque increase over the lower-level M235i.


With that kind of power, the M2 will race to 60 mph in just 4.2 seconds with the optional dual clutch gearbox. Go for the proper manual, and to 60 mph it takes 0.2 seconds slower (4.4 seconds). Top speed is an electronically limited 155 mph.
And then there’s the weight. It tips the scales at 3,450 pounds with the dual-clutch transmission, or 3,505 pounds with the manual. That’s only 85 pounds slimmer than the M235i, and about 154 pounds heavier than the its predecessor, the 1 Series M (3,296 pounds). Not exactly what we’d call a featherweight, but it makes up for it in other areas.


Take the rear differential, for example. It features an active diff and an electronically controlled multi-plate unit that assures the car reacts the way you want it to. Similar to the Ford Focus RS, BMW fitted the new M2 with a sort of “drift mode,” though, the Germans would never be so crass to say that outright. The M Dynamic Mode allows for, “Moderate, controlled drifts” at speed. We’ll take it.

If the performance and technology alone isn’t enough to get your heart racing, the looks should. Per typical M fashion, the M2 puts to use a number of dramatic flares. Slightly toned down from the outgoing 1 Series M, the M2 still features in-your-face bodywork on the front and rear, with a swelling of 2.1 inches up front, and 3.1 inches in the back. That should help in keeping caged the 19-inch Michelin Pilot Super Sport Tires.


BMW hasn’t dished the details on the price as of yet, but expect a hefty premium over the M235i when the new M2 goes on sale in spring of 2016.