BMW Replaces M2 Coupe With 'M2 Competition' This Summer
For a long time BMW was being accused of losing its touch when it came to building the “ultimate driving machine.” People would gripe that the company’s tech was overshadowing driving enjoyment. That may be true to some degree but you could usually point them to the M division and tell them not to worry.
However, most people don’t have the kind of money required to facilitate the purchase of an M3 — and if they don’t have the cash for that, then they definitely aren’t going to pick up the superb M5. But that’s okay because BMW eventually built the M2 and it’s probably the best car in its lineup.
That’s why we are somewhat surprised to learn BMW will be giving the fun-loving coupe a dirt nap, replacing it with the more hardcore “M2 Competition.” It’s not a new car in the strictest sense, but it is a slightly different mindset.
More is more. That’s the theory the M2 Competition works under as it borrows heavily from the M3 and M4, starting with their engine. BMW opted to ditch N55 and replace it with the S55, leaving us with an twin-scroll inline-six of the same displacement and more power. The 3.0-liter now makes 405 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque — which is an increase of 40 and 63, respectively.
That shaves off roughly a quarter of a second from the M2’s 0-to-60 time, although the 7-speed dual-clutch automatic is a touch faster than the manual. According to BMW, DTC-equipped models can hit the mark in four seconds flat but the manual takes an additional 0.2 seconds.
The M2 Competition gets a number of chassis improvements to handle the upgraded power, which also appear to be borrowed from the bigger M cars. A carbon fiber strut helps out with front-end stiffness, while aluminum is the new material of choice for control arms and the front and rear axles.
Steering has been “enhanced” but we’re hoping not in the same way as the M3/M4. Both models offer an unpleasant electronic vagueness that takes some time to become accustomed to and is among their biggest drawbacks. We’d like to have seen BMW talk about feedback but instead the improvements made in regard to steering appear to revolve around how it works with speed. It’s electronically adjustable.
You can actually customize most of the car’s settings and assign them as presets, including the engine and transmission, if you have the dual clutch. A slick-sounding electronic limited-slip differential handles power delivery to the rear wheels and bigger M Sport brakes are said to bring the vehicle down to a stop faster than its predecessor.
Aesthetically, it’s not all that different from the outgoing M2 Coupe. However, we’re not convinced all the changes made were wise ones. First of all the seats, which seem very nice, come with an illuminated M2 logo embedded in the backrest. That’s borderline tacky, but whatever. The new 19-inch wheels, wrapped in 254/35-series front and 265/35-series rear tires, only come in various shades of black. You can either have all black or a bi-color design that is still partially blacked out.
The enlarged kidney grille also ditches its chrome for a shade of midnight crude. Can you guess what color the new exhaust tips are? I bet you can.
While the de-chroming of the M2 does give it sort of a track-car vibe we’re sure many will appreciate, it seems strange they wouldn’t offer it as part of an appearance package. In fact, the whole car has a sort of “special edition” feel about it. However, BMW is doing this kind of stuff on all of the M vehicles so it makes sense in a broader context. I just feel that Competition lacks the broader appeal the coupe has. Fortunately, it’ll probably make up for it in performance. We just pray copying the M3/M4 exhaust setup (flaps and all) and styling doesn’t involve copying fake noises being piped in through the audio system.
The 2019 M2 Competition should arrive at BMW dealerships this summer. Pricing has yet to be announced but expect it to surpass the 2018 M2 coupe’s $54,500 base price.
[Images: BMW Group]
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