The new BMW M2
BMW M GmbH is setting an elevated benchmark in the compact high-performance sports car segment. The new BMW M2 Competition represents a complete reworking of a car that, in its original incarnation, was already a class-leading sports car. A new powerplant boasts a substantial jump in power compared to the previous engine, while changes to the steering, braking system, exhaust and suspension are all wrapped in a revised exterior design that has been enhanced for aerodynamic efficiency.
These alterations to the BMW M2 Competition means it can offer unrivalled all round performance in class and post some impressive headline statistics. It accelerates from zero to 62mph in 4.2 seconds (M DCT transmission, 4.4 seconds with manual gearbox), before going on to an electronically-limited top speed of 155mph. Upgrade to the optional competition-focused M Driver’s Package and that top speed increases to 170mph. Revised chassis tuning and an upgraded brake system means it handles sharper than the original M2.
There are some visual differences that set the Competition model apart from the standard M2; a new front spoiler design and kidney grille finished in high-gloss Shadow Line black, which also feature on the side gills on the front wings, and for the redesigned quartet of tailpipes in the twin exhaust system. A dark M Competition badge graces the rear end of the car, while the race-inspired design of the new double-arm door mirrors improve the aerodynamics.
BMW’s M engineers have also adjusted the dynamics to take the increased performance into account, including a carbon-fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) high-precision strut from the BMW M3/M4 in the engine compartment. This improves front section rigidity and increases steering precision.
Engine and performance
The twin-turbocharged six-cylinder in-line engine, offers the best of both worlds: It guarantees a unique appetite for revs for a turbocharged engine, offers exceptionally linear power delivery across a broad rev range and possesses a distinctive engine sound.
M TwinPower Turbo technology also provides unbeatable torque, available across a wide rev band. The engine boasts outstanding efficiency, delivering 410hp between 5,250 and 7,000rpm, while peak torque of 550Nm is on tap between 2,350 and 5,200rpm.
Such explosive power in a small package allows the M2 Competition to complete the zero to 62mph sprint in just 4.2 seconds. The top speed is electronically limited to 155mph, but can be increased to 170mph with the optional competition-based M Driver’s Package. In addition, fuel economy is very sensible, with 28.5mpg combined with a six-speed manual gearbox (CO2 225g/km), or 30.7mpg with the optional M DCT auto CO2 209g/km).
|Torque (Nm)||0 – 62mph (Seconds)||Top Speed (mph)||Combined (mpg)||CO2 Emissions (g/km)||From
|BMW M2 Compeition||410||550||4.4 (4.2)||155* (170 with M Driver’s Package)||28.5 (30.7)**||225 (209)**||£49,285|
** All figures are provisional
BMW M TwinPower Turbo technology consists of two rapid-response MonoScroll turbochargers, High Precision Injection, VALVETRONIC variable valve control and Double-VANOS variable camshaft timing.
The valve and camshaft timing work in tandem for maximum variability of the control intake valve lift, resulting in razor-sharp responses and optimal power delivery.
Fuel consumption and exhaust emissions are also reduced. A ‘closed deck’ design increases crankcase rigidity for the six-cylinder engine and allows cylinder pressures to be increased for optimum power output. Brushless, LDS-coated cylinder bores also lead to a significant reduction in weight. LDS stands for lightbogendrahtspritzen and is a way of spraying a high temperature metal very thinly onto a surface so it is very strong and durable but its thinness means it produces a lighter surface than previously possible.
Maintaining consistent levels of oil supply is particularly challenging, thanks to the dynamic performance of the BMW M2 Competition, but BMW’s extensive motor racing experience has the chance to shine through. For example, an additional oil sump cover helps to limit the movement of lubricants when the car suddenly changes direction. Under extreme acceleration and deceleration, an oil extraction pump and a sophisticated oil return system situated close to the turbocharger also help to maintain uninterrupted oil circulation. Oil is supplied continuously to all engine components in all driving situations – whether in everyday motoring or hard driving on the track.
The BMW M2 Competition features a range of measures designed to deal with the increased cooling requirements, compared with the engines in previous models. An enlarged BMW kidney and a new front skirt with modified air stream improve the flow for the front of the car.
The car also makes use of the race-tested cooling system of the BMW M4 with the Competition Package, consisting of one central radiator, two side radiators and an additional engine oil cooler. Cars making use of the optional seven-speed M Double Clutch Transmission (M DCT) also feature a transmission oil cooler.
This sophisticated system ensures that ideal operating temperatures are maintained on short city journeys during everyday use, as well as out on the racetrack.
In addition to the new engine, the M2 Competition features a completely new exhaust system. The dual-branch design has a new silencer while the four tailpipes, finished in black chrome, mark it out as a BMW M model. Two electronically-controlled flaps ensure that the BMW M2 Competition delivers a distinctive BMW M Sound, which the driver can adjust by selecting a driving mode with M Dynamic Performance Control – by pressing a selector switch on the centre console.
The car comes as standard with a six-speed manual gearbox, which stands out with its compact design and low weight. The use of a new type of carbon-fibre friction lining enhances shift comfort and an engagement speed control function, which blips the throttle on downshifts and lowers the engine’s revs on upshifts, makes gear changes even smoother. This also lends the car additional stability during hard driving on the track.
Switching off the DSC deactivates the engagement speed control function. Wet-sump lubrication prevents any sloshing of the transmission oil and ensures all components benefit from an efficient supply of oil.
The seven-speed M Double Clutch Transmission (M DCT with Drivelogic) is available as an option. This system effectively combines two gearboxes, each with its own clutch, and enables either extremely fast gear changes with no interruption in the flow of power or ultra-smooth shifts. The driver can change gear either in automated mode or manually using the gearshift lever on the centre console or shift paddles on the M leather steering wheel. In automatic and manual modes, Drivelogic provides the driver with a choice between preconfigured driving settings: COMFORT, SPORT and SPORT+.
In automatic mode, the driver can then adjust the timing of the gearshift as well as its intensity, and the automatic throttle blipping function on downshifts.
Moving between the transmission’s manual modes alters the shift dynamics, but it is the driver who determines the timing of a gear change. The system detects which gear the driver will choose next on the basis of the engine revs, the accelerator position, the level of acceleration and the driving mode, and engages it before the driver has actually moved the shift paddle. As a result, the clutches now only need to open or close for the gear-change to complete. The change of gear is therefore executed in fractions of a second.
The BMW M2 Coupé has already set the standard in its class when it comes to agility, driving feel, directional stability, steering precision and controllability at the limit, without short-changing the driver in everyday use. These characteristics have been further refined for the M2 Competition and adjusted to take the increased engine performance into account.
The engine compartment conceals the most striking component: the CFRP high-precision strut from the BMW M3/M4. This one-piece component is made from extremely light, yet high-strength, carbon fibre and weighs in at just 1.5 kg. Together with the bulkhead strut from the M4, it significantly increases front section rigidity to improve steering behaviour and precision.
The high-performance chassis also draws from the lightweight aluminium construction of the front and rear axles from the BMW M3/M4. In order to ensure precise wheel location, play-free ball joints are used to transmit transverse forces. The longitudinal forces passing through the chassis are passed directly into the torque struts via elastomer bearings.
All the control arms and hubs of the new five-link rear axle are made from forged aluminium. In addition, a racing-derived rigid connection, dispensing with rubber bushes, is used to fix the lightweight steel grid-type rear subframe to the body. This further improves wheel location and tracking stability.
BMW M engineers have adjusted the characteristic curves of the electromechanical power steering to improve performance and increase front section rigidity. The integrated Servotronic function with M-specific characteristics controls the level of steering assistance electronically according to the car’s speed and the settings made with Drivelogic, which allow drivers to adjust power steering assistance at any time to their personal preferences.
The Dynamic Stability Control has been completely recalibrated for the M2 Competition. The electronics exercise even more delicate control, providing improved traction in wet and slippery conditions, and ensuring that traction is not interrupted during drifts.
Support is provided by the Active M Differential, an electronically controlled multi-plate limited-slip diff that takes traction and directional stability to a new level of precision and speed. The locking effect can be varied between zero and 100 per cent according to the driving situation and reacts to the car’s steering angle, accelerator position, brake pressure, engine torque, wheel speed and yaw rate.
The control unit uses this analysis of the driving situation to detect the traction loss on one side of the car and calculates the required locking effect, engaged by an electric motor. Full locking power of 2,500Nm is available within 150 milliseconds. This allows the system to prevent a wheel from spinning in extreme conditions on slippery road surfaces or when the two rear wheels are experiencing significant friction differences.
In certain situations, the Active M Differential works actively. When pulling away on slippery surfaces, for example, the lock is closed by a defined percentage even before a wheel can start to spin, to ensure that both wheels develop equal slip at the same time. The lock is also closed by the required percentage through enthusiastically driven corners, according to the levels of lateral acceleration and power delivery.
This prevents the low-traction inside wheel from starting to turn too quickly. This permanent and infinitely variable differential control also increases agility, avoids understeer on the way into corners and improves directional stability under braking and load changes.
M Dynamic Mode (MDM) is a sub-function of Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), which can be activated automatically in SPORT+ mode, or engaged manually.
In track day circumstances, it allows a greater degree of wheel spin, letting the DSC intervene later, and increasing the freedom available to drivers at the dynamic limit. The extra wheel slip enhances traction and therefore propulsion. More significant oversteer and understeer are possible, as are moderate, controlled drifts, but the DSC can still be relied on to intervene in critical situations.
With such high performance, good stopping power is essential. The high-performance M Sport brakes provide maximum performance and are a product of our extensive motorsport experience. Compared to the standard M compound brakes, with brake calipers painted in a blue metallic and perforated inner-vented brake discs, the M Sport brakes have larger pads (front axles: 400mm in diameter, rear axle: 380mm in diameter) and brake calipers (front axles: 6-piston fixed caliper, rear axle: 4-piston fixed caliper), painted grey. These high-performance brakes guarantee excellent deceleration in all conditions and are fade and heat resistant.
The M2 Competition is also the first M2 to be equipped with selector switches on the centre console that allow instant control of the characteristics and settings for the engine, steering and, if M DCT is selected, Drivelogic functions. The various configurations can be combined with one another in whichever way the driver prefers and can be stored for easy access using the M1 and M2 buttons on the steering wheel.
The standard range of equipment now includes a bold red start/stop button front Park Distance Control (PDC).
One of the most distinctive features of the M2 Competition is its new front skirt with modified air intake, which optimises the flow of fresh air to the cooling system, while simultaneously improving the visual presence of the car.
The enlarged BMW kidney grille is painted black, as are the side gills on the front wings. This colour is mirrored in the new design of the four tailpipes, making the M Competition models really stand out. A matching dark M Competition Badge graces the rear end of the car.
The motorsport-inspired double-arm design of the wing mirrors improves the aerodynamics and is a standout characteristic of the M2 Competition.
Two new colours have been added to the range, metallic Sunset Orange and Hockenheim Silver, which is only available on this model.
Inside, the new, M Sport seat is a real highlight in terms of function and form. The bucket-style shape borrows heavily from motorsport and provides drivers with full support, while the headrests are integrated into the seat back rest. The backrest also features an illuminated M2 logo at shoulder height.
The black perforated leather upholstery is available with either blue or orange highlights, while the standard sports seats are also available with black leather upholstery, featuring contrasting stitching in blue or orange. The new standard Y-Spoke 19-inch forged alloy wheels (front axle: 9J x 19, rear axle: 10J x 19) are also available optionally in Jet Black.
Equipment and options
There is no mistaking the M2 Competition, as it greets the driver with an exclusive ‘Competition’ kickplate as soon as they open the door. The dashboard is ergonomically laid out, and reminds the driver they’re in a special car by displaying the M2 Competition logo for a few seconds when the ignition is switched on.
A red start-stop button underlines the motorsport heritage of the car and the M1 and M2 buttons on the steering wheel also provide direct access to the range of driving modes. Drivers can save their own personal configurations chosen from the settings for stability control, engine characteristics and steering – control over the character of the M2 Competition is at their fingertips. The M1 and M2 steering wheel buttons are pre-programmed with a Comfort and a Sport program as standard and drivers can return to these settings at any time.
The evolution from M2 Coupé to M2 Competition also sees a few additional upgrades.
The high-performance coupé now boasts front Park Distance Control (PDC) which monitors the car’s surroundings and keeps an eye on what is in front of the car, as well as to the rear. Whilst the Professional Navigation offers an ultra-sharp map display and the iDrive Touch Controller ensures the various functions are even easier to use.
Electromechanical M Servotronic power steering and the M Dynamic Mode (MDM) for Dynamic Stability Control is available as standard, allowing aspiring racing drivers to easily enjoy controlled drifts on the circuit.
BMW M2 Competition customers can also make use of numerous driver assistance systems and mobility services from BMW ConnectedDrive. The range of optional driver assistance systems includes the Driving Assistant, which comprises features such as Collision Warning and Pedestrian Warning with City Braking function, and Lane Departure Warning.
Speed Limit Info flashes up traffic signs and the permitted top speed, and the driver is warned if overtaking is not allowed. The rear-view camera teams up with rear Park Distance Control to assist drivers with reverse parking and manoeuvring. The Professional Navigation offers an ultra-sharp map display and the iDrive Touch Controller ensures the various functions are even easier to use.
The BMW M2 Competition is available to order from mid-May with prices starting from £49,285. The BMW M2 will sold in solus and not alongside the original M2.