This flagship 2 Series is a proper M-car – not a diluted M Performance model like the M235i – and although it is late to the party, it’s ready to join the ‘low four second’ club on its own terms. Unlike those five-door, four-cylinder all-wheel drive rivals, the M2 is a true BMW with rear-wheel drive, six-cylinder engine and six-speed manual transmission.
The 3.0-litre twin-scroll turbocharged six-cylinder engine has had components pinched from its M3/M4 big brothers, such as a forged steel crankshaft, pistons with an adapted top ring and high power spark plugs.
Allowing extra boost pressure, the result is 272kW at 6500rpm, 465Nm from 1400rpm to 5560rpm, 500Nm on short overboost and a 7000rpm redline.
Zero to 100km/h is rated at 4.3 seconds for the optional seven-speed dual-clutch automatic that exclusively gets launch control (manual: 4.5sec). The auto’s time matches an RS3 while being a tenth off the A45. A 250km/h top speed is standard, 270km/h optional.
The pinch-fest from the M3/M4 continues with the whole rear axle of the M2 borrowed from those models, made of lightweight aluminium and with control arms made of the forged variety.
Thanks to those lightweight changes, the M2 only weighs 25kg more than an M235i, at 1495kg. Yet its body is a whole lot fatter (the buff body is 80mm wider) to accommodate front and rear tracks pushed out by 63mm and 67mm respectively. The heavily sculpted front bar gets ‘air curtains’ that are said to improve downforce by 35 per cent compared with other 2 Series coupes.
Surprisingly the cabin is little changed, but for some Alcantara trim and GoPro/laptimer apps to detail performance times via email or Facebook.
Quad exhaust with mechanical flaps alter the sound of the six through different settings in the Driving Experience Control switch inside, while 19-inch alloys (with 245mm front/265mm rear Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres) help get grunt to the ground. Or not...
The M2 comes with what BMW calls a Smokey Burnout function that, “invited the driver to indulge in a degree of rear wheel spin while the car is moving at low speeds”. A degree? Sure thing, Munich.
There’s also the requisite M Dynamics Mode that lets you go a bit sideways, and as with the M3/M4 an Active M Differential, which is basically a limited-slip differential with a locking effect between zero and 100 according to the driving situation.
Clamping the M2 down are four-piston, 380mm front/two-piston, 370mm rear ventilated disc brakes.
BMW acknowledges the M2’s ancestry that includes the delinquent (our words, not theirs) limited edition 1M and original E30 M3. The M2 is not a limited edition, though, and BMW Australia says it is fighting to have the flagship coupe here by the first quarter of 2016, or the first half at the latest.
BMW Australia says it isn’t too worried about rivals, because it expects this car to sell on its own – and it says there could be a waiting list, even if pricing isn’t finalised. Under $100K is all but guaranteed, though, and that will be enough for us to place it into comparison with RS3 and A45…
Get your free weekly report from the world of fast cars - subscribe to the MOTOR newsletter!