By on October 14, 2015


On paper, the BMW M2 should deliver the full-boat of M-division goodies above the M235 — a car that has plenty of promise and fun, albeit at a price.

The M2, which BMW unveiled Tuesday, sports a fully fledged, electronically controlled rear differential, a modified oil sump, more power, wider stance and six-speed manual as standard. It tickles all the right notes for the well-heeled Munich enthusiast.

But the official announcement left plenty of questions about the car, which will go on sale next spring. 

According to the official announcement, the M2 will get BMW’s N55 3-liter, turbocharged six that makes 365 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 343 pounds-feet of torque starting at 1,400 rpm.

Although BMW says the M2 is the direct successor to the unicorn 1M Coupe from 2011, the decision to stuff the N55 engine rather than the N54 was probably purely mathematic: the N54 from the 1M Coupe and the current Z4 makes 30 fewer horsepower and 11 fewer pound-feet of torque. The N55 is also likely acceptable middle ground to the M3/M4’s S55, which makes 425 hp and 410 pound-feet.

Although the M2’s power advantage over the M235 is substantial (365 hp vs. 320 hp) the weight savings isn’t: the M2’s 3,505-pound curb weight is identical to the M235i in manual spec, and only 85 pounds lighter in automatic (presumably the weight difference between the 7-speed DCT and 8-speed automatic transmission).

The similarities continue. The six-speed manual is identical between the M235 and M2, although the final drive in the M2 is higher. Despite different final drive ratios, both cars have a limited top speed of 155 mph.

However, the M2 gets a unique front fascia, 15-inch brake rotors up front and 14.5-inch rotors in the back. The 265/35ZR19 tires in the rear are curiously only 20 mm wider than the 245’s found on the M235i.

When it goes on sale next spring, the M2 will likely have an M-sized price tag over the (already high) $45,145 entry price of the M235i.

Whether the car will justify its price differential and feel remotely accessible — unlike the M4’s inapproachable capability — remains to be seen.

Get the latest TTAC e-Newsletter!

40 Comments on “Get Excited About BMW’s M2, Just Not That Excited … Yet...”

  • avatar

    I think the unique bodywork alone up front demands some premium on price. It looks great.

    I just wonder how expensive it will get with options you get standard on a Hyundai Elantra.

    • 0 avatar

      Are you being sarcastic?

      • 0 avatar

        I think it does look bad, really bad, and I don’t mean in a good way.

      • 0 avatar

        About what? Paying to add basic options such as bluetooth, satellite radio, and power seats? Nope.

        • 0 avatar

          First off, M cars come standard with more options than the standard 2 series cars. Second of all, comparing an M car to a Genesis is a no-value argument. Personally, paying for minor items (to me) is a non-issue price of admission for what an M car brings to the table. Lastly, the majority of M owners could care less about add on options. They are not price sensitive. Just go look at some used M cars, I guarantee you that the preponderance of them are well, to fully loaded.

          • 0 avatar

            It’s looking (according to the post) as if most of what comes with the M price of admission is the status that that price bestows. More power to you if it’s what you like. I chase value.

          • 0 avatar

            “It’s looking (according to the post) as if most of what comes with the M price of admission is the status that that price bestow”

            I’m guessing you have never owned an M car. If you think it’s about attainment of a name or brand, you’ve completely missed the point or you just aren’t in the enthusiast camp.

        • 0 avatar

          Using your logic I have to wonder how much it cost to get the performance Hyundai to be even close to the M2.

        • 0 avatar


          All of which are standard on the M235i, never mind the M2.

  • avatar

    Rumored base price is $51k, and at that level the M2 seems to include enough M3/M4 bits to make it worth the premium over an M235i. A fully loaded M2 could top $60k, and at that point I think I’d rather have a base M3 or M4.

    • 0 avatar

      Only a $9k delta between the base price and fully loaded? No way. Checking every box, you can add over $31k (!) in options to an M4. Betcha you’ll be able to build an M2 that cracks $70k easy.

      • 0 avatar
        Chris FOM

        Almost a third of that $31k is in the carbon ceramic brakes, which likely won’t be available on the M2. Plus I figure options in general are likely to be fewer on the M2 in general. While There will probably be some overlap in price at the extremes, if you want options BMW will probably steer you towards the M4.

  • avatar

    I’m sorry, but IMO the front end of this (as well as the current BMW’S) are hideous. The bottom half resembles some type of bottom feeder fish sucking water into its’ mouth! Everything below the headlights is seemingly becoming more and more exaggerated.

  • avatar

    And oddly enough, I like the look of this car. It’s got a muscular look. Like my wife.

  • avatar

    That is a lot of show… and below Honda Civic Type R go. The considerably cheaper Civic is 8 seconds faster around the Nordschleife.

    • 0 avatar

      Because everyone is going to cross shop a FWD Honda with a BMW M car.

    • 0 avatar

      I certainly wouldn’t bring these two up in the same conversation. I suspect 99% of shoppers will be in the same place. With cars like this, it’s about the entire package, not a 0-60 number. M cars are famous for being greater than the sum of their parts.

      The ring time is an interesting number to be sure. i thought I saw 0-60 time on the type r around 5.5 and the M2 around 4.2. Do we even have a M2 ring time yet?

  • avatar

    There are a number of reasons why the N54 is no longer used:

    1. No Valvetronic head
    2. Carbon build-up problems on the intake valves
    3. Too easy to upgrade for aftermarket tunes. The N55 has a single turbo that can’t reach the kind of boost numbers that the twin setup from the N54 could reach.

    • 0 avatar

      I logged in just to mention this but you beat me to it. The N54 definitely wasn’t skipped for lack of power. Even years after the arrival of the N55, it still isn’t nearly as tune friendly as its predecessor. A tune only N54 in a 2007 335i makes more power than this 2016 M2. For the used car crowd that wants a fast BMW with a DCT, grab a 2011-2013 335is and go nuts with mods.

  • avatar

    I’m kind of surprised at the tire size. For a 3,500lb car they seem pretty narrow. On the M235i they look small. The car is not as small as it appears.

    One of the things I enjoyed about my time in the M235i was how easy and predictable it was to slide the back around. Maybe they are trying to keep that feel at the expense of all out lateral G’s.

  • avatar

    So yet another BMW with way too much thrust from a massaged turbo six, surprising heft for its size, not enough steering feel, and not enough luxury to make the lack of steering feel OK? I’ve felt bored by BMWs for a couple of years now. The days when I could spend an afternoon drooling over the E90/E92 configurator are gone.

    I’ll come back when a reviewer gushes about a new BMW’s steering. Not just “it’s more tolerable than the terrible system on the first F10s,” but a gush. It’s not just EPS, because others can get EPS right. It’s something else about how BMW is setting cars up right now.

  • avatar

    What does this car compete against? Quite frankly, if you were looking for an uber track focused RWD coupe, isn’t the GT350 a better bet on all fronts? hell, even resale value should be better for the Ford. It’s nice looking car, but I’m just not seeing the value proposition.

    • 0 avatar

      Good question, but hard to answer just yet. Partly because reviews and driving tests are just not available yet.

      In the end it just may come down to personal preference. 1 year ago I was fully set to order a new M4. Primarily from my experiences with the e92 M3 and other M cars I’ve owned. I think there are plenty of people out there that aspire to M cars. When I caught up on the changes to the M4, I was all set to look to an M2 instead. People kept saying to was to be a move back to the pureness of the old e30 M3. But that was a year ago and the M2 was just talk. And to be honest, my wife has never liked Mustangs, so the M was more likely.

      Resale, who knows. I don’t disagree the GT350 should be good. But truthfully, M cars have proven to be good also.

  • avatar

    I like this car and curious to get more clarity once more details and reviews emerge. Especially performance driving reviews. If this car was available when I was shopping the car I have now, the M2 would likely have been on my short list.

  • avatar

    So a day after Ford announces a power bump on their $36k AWD Focus RS, BMW releases a yawner of an M2 with only 15hp more and probably higher curb weight (though it will likely be close). Why bother?

    Oh, and for those who say the BMW is somehow nicer on the inside than the Focus RS, you’re wrong. The current 2 series is the most underwhelming BMW both externally and internally (cheap cheap cheap interior). The refreshed Focus interior is quite a nice place to be, even in a 36k version.

    While I haven’t driven the RS or the M2 yet, I have driven the M235 and the Audi S3 back to back to back. The Audi is by far the more fun car to drive. The M235 is a boring fast car. Yes, BMW somehow managed to make a fast car boring. Needless to say, we ordered the S3 instead of the M235.

    Also, why swap out the wonderful 8-speed ZF auto for a crappy DCT with fewer gears? Maybe if this was a VAG unit, it would be OK, but BMW hasn’t made a decent DCT yet.

    I’m sure the BMW faithful will fawn over this car like it’s the second coming of the E46 M3, yet it will be smoked by the Focus qualitatively and probably quantitatively.

    • 0 avatar

      I logged in to make the same comment but you beat me to it. Supposedly, I’m required to view the M2 as a more “mature” and refined choice over the FoRS (I’m 52), but let’s be honest…the M2 (and M3/M4) all look like Hamann or AC Schnitzer took a massive boy-racer shit all over these things. No subtlety, no class, and if you try to tell me that they’ve always been like this then the E92 M3 would like to have a word with you. These should be much nicer cars for the price, with almost all options as standard equipment. Good luck with that from the ripoff artists in Munich.

      Nope, I’ll just drive a slow but tidy E39 for now and grab a 2017 FoRS when Ford works the bugs out. It’ll do the same job…probably better, actually…at a far lower total cost.

      • 0 avatar

        I think the M2 is about as far beyond the M235i as the E30 M3 was beyond the 325is of that era looks-wise. A return to the original fairly outré homologation special styling.

        As far as the actual car, *I* don’t see the point, my M235i is already faster than I have use for on a US public road (good fun though it was in Europe) or talent for on a race track (I feel the same way about all the M cars past the e28 M5 and e36 M3). But some people will certainly dig it. I predict you won’t pay anywhere NEAR MSRP for one for a good long time. If I wanted to track something regularly I would pick up a cheap, dedicated track rat that I can afford to ball up and throw away. Daddy Warbucks I am not…

        Ultimately production numbers will keep it from being another 1M, but I can’t imagine it isn’t a better car in every possible way. And it may be a tad slower than a M3/M4, but I bet it is more fun.

  • avatar

    This car weighs within 100 lbs of an M4, with significantly less power. Well, I’m sure you can pay a lot for it, at least.

    • 0 avatar

      Expect ADP of $25k over sticker for the few you can find on a showroom floor, if the 1M is any indication.

      Any discussion of what is faster, or why, is irrelevant to the bling buyer of this car. Indeed, for the vast majority of BMW buyers, they are getting a fancy German Accord. BMW is now selling them the cars they expect. They buy a lot more cars than “us”.

      • 0 avatar

        I thought modern BMW buyers just wanted the “best” one, by which I mean the most expensive. Buying the M2 when the M4 is right next to it just makes you look like you bought the junior executive version.

        • 0 avatar

          You say that, but I have yet to read how it handles and drives. Some will pursue this car for the driving experience. I could care less about an M4 vs M2 status. If one were a better drivers car, that would be my choice…if I were actually shopping a new car. Personally, I’d wait for the reviews.

          People buying M cars are far less concerned about status than your statement implies. At least those in the enthusiast camp.

          • 0 avatar

            I was the owner of an M4 for exactly 64 days. It was quite the vehicle but felt utterly massive on the road compared to previous M cars I’ve owned. While not significantly smaller, the M2 may help out in that department.

            The M4 was an absolute pleasure to drive in every situation but it lacked the visceral feel I was hoping for from an M car. I replaced it with a 27 year old E28 with over 300k miles, not a single regret.

            I feel that the M4 is to 911 as the M2 will be to Cayman, where the M4 will be the poster child while the M2 will actually be much more fun to drive. Keep in mind the M4 was underrated from the factory, the real world M2 figures will be slightly higher.

  • avatar

    I think you need to verify your facts better. Here are some technical information on the M2 with comparison to the M235i and M4. The M2 is closer to the M4 than to the M235i and is priced very competitively in the US. As far as cars it competes with, the AMG A45 and Audi RS3 comes to mind but this is the purer driver car with its RWD layout…

    – Weight:
    – Leergewicht DIN (Car with 90% fuel, no driver): 1495kg (manual), 1520 DCT (1455kg for M235i).
    – Leergewicht EU (Car with 90% fuel, 75kg driver): 1570 kg manual and 1595 kg DCT (1530 for M235i)
    WEIGHT IS ABOUT THE SAME AS THE M4, 25 Kg lighter than M3.

    – Power: 272 Kw / 370 hp @ 6500 rpm and 465 Nm/343 lb-ft from 1400-5560 rpm (M235i: 240 Kw/326 hp @ 5800 rpm and 450 nm from 1300-4500 rpm).

    – 0-100 km/h (62mph): 4.3 secs with DCT and 4.5 secs with manual (M235i: 5.0 secs with manual and 4.8 sec with automatic)
    M3/4: 4.1 secs with DCT and 4.3 with manual

    – 80-120 kmh in 5th gear: 4.4 secs (M235i: 4.8 secs)
    M3/4: 4.2 secs

    – Full aluminium front and rear axles FROM THE M3/4 (M235i Steel rear axle)

    – 4 piston calipers 380mm rotors front / 2 piston calipers 370mm rotors rear (M235i 4 piston caliper 340mm rotors front & 2 piston caliper 330mm rotors rear). M3/M4: 4 piston calipers 380mm rotors front / 4 piston calipers 370mm rotors rear.

    – Track front/rear 1579mm/1601 (M235i: 1516/1532) M3/M4: 1579 mm/1603mm

    – Active M differential with M Dynamic Mode allowing drifting FROM M3/4. (M235i, Open differential, optional LSD)

    – Newly calibrated EPS FROM THE M3/4 without assistance when driving straight ahead with 2 settings Comfort and Sport/Sport+,

    – 6 Speed manual garbox with Automatic rev matching on downshift and upshifts SAME AS M3/4

    – Modified N55 engine with parts from M3/M4: pistons, crankshaft bearing shells, extra oil sump cover, extra oil suction pump, oil cooler for DCT transmission, extra water cooler…

    All in All, the M2 is similar to the 1M as it has lots of components, especially suspension system from its big brother M3/4. One of the reservation I have is the braking system with just 2 piston calipers in the rear, for a car that weighs about the same as the M4. Knowing that the braking systems for M cars are not really up to scratch for track driving, racing pads or aftermarket system may be needed for track days…

    If you add these all up, the price difference with the M235i is justified and the car is somewhat a bargain.

  • avatar

    The demand (even on the secondary market)for the 1M Coupe shows that they’ll have no issues selling these, but honestly the best argument against this car is just how good the M235i already is. Yeah, this will be faster and handle a bit better, and it looks a little meaner, but it’s going to cost probably $10k more. And the M235i is already fast, handles well, comfortable, and looks nice (especially for a modern BMW).

Read all comments

Back to TopLeave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Recent Comments

  • Lou_BC: I agree. Excellent piece. I have to commend TTAC on their new trajectory. Bravo. One does not need political...
  • Arthur Dailey: See Bob Nardelli – Home Depot – for an example of this writ large.
  • Arthur Dailey: Even ‘skilled’ employment in some areas will be either sent offshore or replaced by...
  • Lou_BC: @Dan – yup. 100%.
  • ToolGuy: I am definitely interested in that Mongo thing, but only if it actually works.

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber