Published on August 19th, 2016 | by Amirul Mukminin0
BMW M2 Coupe – First Drive
The BMW M2 Coupe is the first ever of its kind to join the revered M lineup. The car is essentially the most powerful 2 Series after the M235i, and has no direct M-badged predecessor. Still, there is a lot to expect from the M2 as it is somehow cut from the same cloth as the 2002 Turbo, E30 M3 and 1-Series M Coupe, and these are some of the greatest cars ever made by the brand.
Of course, there is no clear sign of telling if the M2 would become the best M car ever built but the two-door coupe certainly looks the part. While it is based on the current 2 Series, the M2 has similar proportions to that of the 1M Coupe but everything has been outlined to make it look even. Contributing to the M2’s pouncing stance are its hips, which have been widened by 80 mm.
The menacing appearance is then complemented with an array of M features such as aggressive front bumper, quad tail pipes (with electric flaps) as well as wider fenders with the trademark side vents. The interior is much more sedated but the ‘open pore’ carbon fibre trims, M sport steering wheel and a generous spread of Alcantara are there to remind you the kind of car you are driving.
Killer looks aside, the M2 is also about outright handling and engine performance and for that, the M3 and M4 are cannibalized for parts. First, the M2’s lightweight aluminum suspension, electric power steering and active differential are all carried over from the pair. Not only that, the rear axle subframe is also mounted directly onto the body, which BMW says improves the wheel location and tracking ability.
Second, the turbocharged 3.0 litre six-cylinder N55 engine is the same that powers the M235i but it has more boost as well as pistons and crankshaft main bearing shells of the S55 that powers the M3 and M4. The result is an output of 370 hp at 6,500 rpm and 465 Nm of torque at 1,400 rpm, delivered to the rear wheels via a seven-speed DCT with a throttle-blipping function.
That much power in a 1,595-kg car may not sound much (it is what BMW wanted, anyway) but combine it with a snappy throttle, a quick-shifting gearbox and rear-wheel-drive, you get a nasty coupe that has the capability to deliver a figurative punch in the face. Forget that it is not a ‘true’ M engine – the six-cylinder unit teases you with the slightest hint of turbo lag before it surprises you with its gut-wrenching acceleration.
The M2 also feels strong in the mid-range, as long as the needle is kept over the 3,000 rpm mark. The brawny coupe proved to be at home along our pre-planned route from Lake Theirsee in Austria to Munich, where a good mix of bends and open stretches set against a backdrop of lofty mountains and green fields – a perfect setting for the M2. It cruises along the free-flowing road in an almost docile manner and only really comes to live when you wish to.
From behind the steering wheel, the M2 offers a great seat with electronically adjustable bolsters, so you stay focused and comfortable at the same time. The steering wheel feels good in the hand and is very much alive, as you would expect from an M car. Overall, it feels a well-balanced car with a good turn-in feel in the front end and a responsive rear end. Additional stiffening plates mean the M2 has a stiff ride even in Comfort mode, but not to the extent where it gets unbearable.
As for braking power, the M2 gets it from its M compound brakes (380 mm front, 370 mm rear) with four-piston calipers at the front and two-piston caliper at the rear, which sit behind the 19-inch M alloy wheels. There is definitely enough power to bring this mini bullet to a halt quickly, as my driving partner and I found out in an encounter with an oncoming truck that was making it way uphill.
To put it simply, the M2 is a no-fuss, straightforward fun machine made purely for the joy of driving. The car gets off the line quicker than you think but it is not overpowered. Instead, it is the kind of car that helps you build your confidence through a very capable chassis setup and simple electronics derived from its bigger siblings. The RM498,800 price tag sounds like a bargain for an entry-level M car that has been beefed up with M3/M4 components.
BMW M2 Coupe Specifications
Engine: Inline-six, twin-scroll turbo with variable valve timing
Capacity: 2,979 cc
Power: 370 hp @ 6,500 rpm
Torque: 465 Nm @ 1,400 rpm
Transmission: 7-speed dual-clutch transmission
0-100km/h: 4.3 seconds
Top speed: 250 km/h.