With its widely flared flanks, hunkered down suspension and a front full of mesh air intakes and aerodynamic scoops, the BMW M2 is an aggressive looking little thing. There’s no mistaking the BMW M2’s potential for impressive performance.
If the standard model was too subtle for you then BMW offered a counter-punch with the even friskier M2 Competition, which has a wider body, bigger air intakes, 19-inch alloy wheels and a quad-pipe exhaust.
The ultimate iteration of the BMW M2 is the CS. This has lower, stiffer suspension and loads of carbon fibre to trim weight and add a sporting look. All models look sharp, but some are fiercer than others.
What's it like to drive?
With essentially the same engine as the BMW M4 in a smaller, lighter package, it will come as no surprise to learn that the BMW M2 is blisteringly quick. Its turbocharged 3.0-litre, 6-cylinder engine pumps out 365bhp in standard guise or 404bhp in Competition specification, with the CS version adding a further 40bhp.
0-62mph takes a fraction over 4 seconds in the Competition. The 6-speed manual transmission provides the most driver engagement but the 7-speed dual-clutch automatic turns in lightning-fast shifts.
The engine, traction control, suspension and steering have different settings to suit your mood and the road conditions. In any mode and on any road, this is a seriously exciting car to drive.
It will come as no surprise to learn that the BMW M2 is blisteringly quick; 0-62mph takes a fraction over 4 seconds in the Competition.
With its clear emphasis on getting from point A to point B efficiently, the BMW M2’s cabin is designed for the pure purpose of driving. That means it’s not the most luxurious of interiors, - it is very well constructed, using soft-touch plastics, Alcantara suede, and top-notch leather for the seats. These are especially supportive, sculpted as they are to hold you in place as on bends, so they’re comfortable for motorway and country driving.
The driving position is easily adjusted whether you want to sit low to the floor like a racer or more upright like a bus driver. BMW’s i-Drive system gives you a large rotary controller to select functions from entertainment and communication to fine-tuning car settings and there’s also a decent-sized touch screen. On all models, the front seats enjoy better space than the back. The presence of those rear spaces is a sure bonus if you make the occasional group trip.
The Competition version has a carbon fibre effect material on the dash and the top-spec CS has the real stuff. This most racy version does without a centre armrest, so you lose handy storage space as well as missing out on a bit of long-distance comfort. Overall, though the BMW M2’s interior is simple and purposeful. Just as it should be.
The BMW M2 beats several of its high-performance rivals on day-to-day practicality. Unlike two-seater coupes such as the Alpine 110 or the Porsche 718 Cayman, there’s room for four adults inside, although anyone over six feet tall will be better off in the front seats.
The glovebox is big, and the boot is actually larger than a VW Golf’s. You could fit 6 carry-on bags in there, making the BMW M2 a perfectly good road tripper as well as a capable performance car. If you’re looking for something punchy and prestigious but you still need to make airport trips or drop off the kids, it’s good to know the BMW M2 can handle life as a daily driver.
Reliability and running costs
When you don’t use the BMW M2’s prodigious power all the time, you could see fuel consumption reach 30mpg or more, but a day at the racetrack could easily see that number cut in half. Still, this is part of the appeal of a car that’s so good at juggling its various personas.
The BMW 2-Series in general has a good reputation for reliability, but a high-performance car such as the BMW M2 may come with costs if parts such as brakes and tyres need to be replaced, since these are specialist items. For added peace of mind, you might consider cinchCare.
What cinch loves
The agility of the BMW M2 is really quite astonishing. On a bendy B-road or a track day you’ll have a hoot. What’s perhaps even more amazing is this could easily be a daily driver, with plenty of room for four people and their luggage. It’s a great option for serious motorists who don’t have a second car.