All-new BMW M2 coupe unveiled

Spiritual successor to 1 Series M Coupe has 370bhp; priced from £44,000

The all-new BMW M2 coupe has been unveiled, making the BMW 2 Series the smallest car in BMW’s current range to be given the full M Division treatment.

It’s more powerful and lighter than the M235i and is the spiritual successor to the rather brilliant BMW 1 Series M Coupe. Handling and driving fun have no doubt been top priorities in the performance coupe’s development and it goes on sale next year. It’ll be priced from £44,070 for the six-speed manual version and £46,575 for the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic model.

BMW is keen to point out that it’s done this kind of car before with great success – along with the 1 Series M Coupe, it makes comparisons with the BMW 2002 Turbo and the original BMW M3 Coupe from 30 years ago. The new M2’s closest rivals will be the Audi RS3 Sportback and Mercedes CLA45 AMG.

BMW M2 engines and performance

The M2’s engine is a turbocharged 3.0-litre straight-six petrol that makes 370bhp. You have the choice of either a six-speed manual gearbox or a seven-speed ‘M DCT’ dual-clutch automatic. The 0-62mph sprint is dealt with in just 4.3 seconds by the M DCT, or 4.5 seconds by the manual.

Top speed is electronically limited to 155mph. The M2 also has an ‘overboost’ function, which increases the amount of power available for a short period of time when you’re on full throttle – perfect for swift overtaking manoeuvres.

As you’d expect, the M2 is chock-full of performance parts to give it the edge. The engine is made from aluminium to make it lighter and the axles (the connection between the wheels) are derived from those in the larger BMW M3 saloon and BMW M4 coupe.

The M2 also has tougher performance brakes and an ‘Active M Differential’, which aims to direct power to whichever rear wheel has the most grip. But if you don’t want grip, ‘M Dynamic Mode’ allows confident drivers to slide the rear end around a bit on track.

Although it’s possible M2 buyers won’t be too bothered by this, BMW says that the turbocharged engine is capable of up to 35.8mpg when specified with the seven-speed dual clutch gearbox, for £225 per year in road tax. The six-speed manual is slightly less efficient, resulting in claimed fuel economy of 33.2mpg and an annual road tax bill of £265.

Styling

It’s not hard to tell the difference between the M2 and a standard 2 Series coupe. The performance car has a chunky bodykit, flared wheelarches and massive 19-inch alloy wheels similar to those on the larger M3 and M4 models.

The front end sports large air intakes to cool the engine, while small side vents finished in chrome and black mark the start of a huge crease along the doors. Four massive exhaust pipes bulge out of the rear splitter, which completes the look.

Just like other M Division cars, the M2 does without a massive rear wing – instead, a small lip is fitted to the top edge of the bootlid.

Interior

Inside, the M2’s sporting intentions are hidden slightly. It’s a rather discreet interior for a performance model – a trait is shares with the rest of the M Division range.

There are a few M badges, but the carbon fibre on the dashboard and centre console is more of a sign that you’re in a fast coupe. Images show the sports seats are finished in ‘M Dakota’ leather, while BMW’s Professional Navigation is standard equipment.

As with other BMW models, you can specify the ConnectedDrive service, which lets you access phone apps through the car’s infotainment system. You can use the GoPro app to record trackday laps with a dashboard-mounted camera, or use the M Laptimer app to record your racing times or “individual driving style”.

Price and release date

The M2 is scheduled to arrive in spring 2016, priced from £44,070 for the six-speed manual version. The seven-speed M DCT model costs £46,575.

For more on BMW’s range, including our reviews of other M Division cars, check out Carbuyer’s reviews page.

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