BMW M2 (2015) spied on road - and in Gran Turismo

Published: 08 July 2014

BMW is testing its new M2 high-performance coupe - on road and in the virtual reality world of Gran Turismo computer games. Sort of.

Our photographers snapped these spy photos of the new 2015 BMW M2 on manoeuvres in Germany, and it's a fascinating juxtaposition alongside the raciest 2-series from Gran Turismo 5.

BMW M2 vs BMW Vision Gran Turismo

The M2 is a new badge for M-kind, carrying on where the BMW 1 M Coupe left off.

Gran Turismo has become a major marketing channel for car makers and for the game's 15th anniversary, it has commissioned a string of virtual racers from brands as diverse as Aston Martin, Mercedes-Benz and now BMW.

It's a reflection of the times in which we live that a manufacturing giant such as BMW now teases future product on gaming consoles, in an attempt to drum up early interest in its wares.

BMW M2 (2015): what we know

The new, roadgoing BMW M2 will borrow the 3.0-litre straight six from the M235i; blown by a single turbocharger, power is tipped to swell from 322bhp to some 355bhp.

Marking out the M2's more aggressive stance is a track considerably stretched at both axles, making room for the bigger boots required to keep swollen horsepower and torque figures in check.

It's pretty easy to spot the blistered wheelarches in our BMW M2 spy pictures. It's all part of a discrete makeover with all the hallmarks of M division: subtle restraint and polish, mixed with just enough menace in those gaping air intakes and lowered aero addenda so that those in the know know...

Expect to see the BMW M2 in showrooms in 2015, priced from around £40,000.

BMW Vision Gran Turismo

The gamers' BMW 2-series is a more extreme version of the 2-series dressed in M tricolor colours. BMW and Polyphony, the makers of Gran Turismo, have plundered the history books, nicking the BMW roundel on the C-pillar from the M1, the Batmobile's paint scheme and the 3.0 CSL's exaggerated 'Hofmeister kink'.

In the Playstation world, the go-faster BMW 2-series has a similar-sounding 3.0-litre straight six, but turbocharged here to 542bhp. Combined with an 1180kg kerbweight, it's outrageously fast. On your sofa, at least.

By Tim Pollard

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

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