When BMW itself speaks of the new M2 as a replacement to the 1M Coupe, a spiritual successor to the E30 M3 and a close descendant to the 2002 Turbo, then suffice it to say, our expectations go sky-high.
We caught a glimpse of the production 2016 BMW M2 Coupe through a set of leaked magazine scans earlier on Tuesday, but now, we have the full nitty gritty from the horse’s mouth, together with a boatload of pictures.
There’s plenty to talk about, but as with any other M car, the most important aspect is what engine BMW’s performance division chose to drop under the hood. If you haven’t been following the news, the M2 gets a 3.0-liter twin-scroll turbocharged straight six-cylinder engine pumping out 370PS (365hp) at 6,500rpm that will rev to 7,000rpm, while peak torque of 465Nm (343 lb-ft) is on tap between 1,400 and 5,560rpm. An overboost function raises torque by 35Nm to 500 Nm (369 lb-ft) between 1,450 and 4,750rpm. It’s worth mentioning that it’s a more aggressively tuned version of the new X4 M40i’s inline-six, codenamed “N55B30T0”.
The turbo unit is connected to a standard six-speed manual gearbox, in which case, it hits 100km/h (62mph) from standstill in 4.5 seconds, or an optional seven-speed dual-clutch DCT transmission that includes Comfort, Sport and Sport+ driving modes, launch control and BMW’s Smoky Burnout function, with which it does the same in 4.3 seconds. For comparison, the 326PS (322hp – EU-Spec) rear-wheel drive M235i Coupe completes the standard sprint in 4.8 seconds with the DCT and 5.0 seconds with the stick shift, and in 4.6 seconds when opted with all-wheel drive (xDrive).
Regardless of how many pedals you have under your feet, the M2 has an electronically limited top speed of 250km/h (155mph).
BMW says the US-spec model tips the scales at 3,450 pounds (1,565 kg) with the DCT and 3,505 pounds (1,590kg) with the manual gearbox.
The M2 comes with an assortment of chassis improvements starting with tracks that are 64mm (2.5 inches) wider at the front and 71mm (2.8 inches) at the rear over the M235i. BMW’s engineers have used plenty of aluminum components on the revised suspension that includes MacPherson struts up front and a five-link arrangement at the back, while re-tuning the electrically power-assisted steering system and adding an Active M Differential. The performance model gets new compound brakes with four-piston fixed calipers at the front (380mm) and two-piston fixed calipers at the rear (370mm).
While BMW didn’t do us (or at least some of us) the favor of reviving the boxed wheel arches of the E30 M3, the new M2 does get steroidal fenders all around that house 19-inch lightweight forged alloy wheels wrapped in exclusively made for this model, Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires, measuring 245/35 ZR 19 in the front and 265/35 ZR 19 at the rear. More muscular-looking and vented bumpers with the rear featuring a unique diffuser and quad pipes, together with a discrete boot lip spoiler, round out the exterior upgrades.
Step inside and you won’t notice a whole lot of differences over the M235i, as besides the instrument panel graphics and the hollow section of the steering wheel arm, these are mostly limited to the blue contrast stitching on all leather surfaces, and the porous carbon fiber and Alcantara trimmings.
Whereas pricing for the USA is being kept a secret for now, in the UK, the M2 Coupe will start from £44,070 (equal to US$67,200) which places it closer to the M235i (£35,075 / US$53,500) than the M4 Coupe (£57,055.00 / US$87,000), and that’s good news – if, of course, it manages to deliver a lot more than the car it’s based on.
We’re not saying that the same will apply in the States, but if BMW follows a similar pricing strategy as in the UK placing a 25 percent premium over the M235i, then in this hypothetical scenario, the M2 would cost around $55,000. Being that the M4 carries a starting MSRP of US$65,400, we think that the M2 should end up costing somewhere between $52,000 and $55,000 when it reaches US showrooms in Spring of 2016.