BMW M2: Munich finally upgrades the M235i into a proper M sports car

Published: 16 October 2015

 BMW finally launches a small M car
 M2 takes M235i and adds some fizz
 World debut at the Detroit motor show 

If we've been impressed by the 1-series M Coupe and M235i hotshots of recent years, but never had a full-blown M division product in a fun-sized compact package, have all our prayers been answered at once? Check out the new 2016 BMW M2 - Munich's first small performance car ever.

Due to be shown at the 2016 Detroit motor show in January, the baby M car takes the M235i and pumps everything up to 11. Or possibly even 12, judging by the numbers and details confirmed to us by M division boss Frank Van Meel...

A serious bit of kit: the BMW M2 spec

The new M2 follows in the footsteps of some of our favourite fast BMWs ever. Munich keeps referencing the 2002 Turbo and original E30 M3, which bodes well. And that M3 reference is valid - little brother pinches much of that car’s hardware, including its suspension and M diff, wrapped in a smaller, lighter package.

The key figures are:

  • Engine: 3.0-litre straight six bi-turbo
  • Power: 365bhp @ 6500rpm
  • Torque: 369lb ft @1400-5560rpm
  • Top speed: 155mph (electronically limited)
  • 0-62mph: 4.3sec
  • Weight: 1495kg
  • Economy: 35.8mpg (DCT), 33.2mpg (manual)
  • CO2 emissions: 185g/km (DCT), 199g/km (manual)
  • On sale: April 2016
  • Price: £44,070

The rear end of the new 2016 BMW M2

How will it drive?

This car is aimed squarely at the Mercedes-AMG A45, Audi RS3 and VW Golf R400 hyper-hatch waiting in the wings - but unlike all of those cars, it is resolutely rear-wheel drive, in the BMW tradition. That is surely a good omen, and BMW M division executives we’ve interviewed confirm it is a proper M product. Read the full story about the new 2016 BMW M2 in CAR+ with our full, in-depth magazine article here.

With M3/M4 suspension, retuned for use in a smaller, lighter bodyshell, and the Active M Differential apportioning power to each rear wheel as requested, it sounds like the M2 is quite the little hooligan. Select M Dynamic Mode and all the electronic nannies are parried back to allow controlled oversteer on track.

It’s been given a full makeover, with a typically butch and quietly menacing bodykit comprising fluted front spoiler, large air intakes, M gills and 19-inch double-spoked alloys. Four exhaust pipes crown the rear end and BMW quotes a 1495kg kerbweight. 

Inside the BMW M2’s cabin

Sports seats grip you in the front as you settle behind an M sports steering wheel and bespoke gearlever; there are lashings of alcantara on the door cards and centre console and carbonfibre trim is used sparingly around the iDrive controller.

A purposeful cabin inside the BMW M2

Buyers can pick a six-speed manual gearbox or the BMW M Double Clutch Transmission (DCT) for seamless mind-warp gear changes. And speaking of options, there’s a raft of connectivity accessories including a GoPro app to record your hot laps at a track day and an M Laptimer app for sharing your best times across social media. 

Because you’ll be bursting to tell your friends what the M2 is like to drive, we suspect. We’ll know the answer definitively in spring 2016 when we get to drive BMW’s latest fast coupe.

Watch the new BMW M2 in glossy promo video action below:

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet

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