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Soothing music for the racing soul: the BMW M2 Coupe

Six cylinders, 370 hp, 4.47 metres: the BMW M2 Coupe offers an ultra-compact formula for dynamic prowess. Impressive track ability and muscular design take centre stage.

By
Jan Wilms
Photos
Simon Puschmann

As a new model on the world stage, with outstanding performance and a family tree rooted in the compact, dynamically gifted BMW 2002 turbo (1973), the new BMW M2 Coupe serves up high-octane food for conversation in ample portions. Yet you might just find yourself lost for words when a finger on the starter button stirs the turbocharged 3.0-litre engine into a powerful rumble and a foot on the accelerator catapults car, driver and driver’s consciousness into a parallel state of being. One corner and you’ll know: this is a car that lets its driving talents do the talking.

The first metres after a Launch Control-enhanced getaway leave an impression as indelible as the black tyre tracks burnt into the asphalt: the super-compact power merchant sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in 4.3 seconds when fitted with the seven-speed BMW M Double Clutch Transmission or 4.5 seconds with the six-speed M manual gearbox. Both variants move through the gears with exceptional sporting precision and ensure an uninterrupted flow of power.

One corner and you’ll know: this is a car that lets its driving talents do the talking.

Driver-focused cockpit: ergonomic seats accompanied by switches and controls grouped around the driver are a recipe for intuitive control and short reaction times to sate the sporting appetite.

The smoothly revving straight-six engine, a BMW speciality given a modern makeover by BMW M TwinPower Turbo technology, powers the coupe (which weighs just 1,570 kg) on a wave of 370 horsepower to an electronically governed top speed of 250 km/h. The limiter can be reprogrammed to hold off until 270 km/h. And the overboost function, which raises peak torque from 465 Nm to 500 Nm, comes in handy when exploring the car’s dynamic horizons.

Ready for the race track

The BMW M2 Coupe is a car with a penchant for sideways action; the g-forces it generates through corners make soothing music for the racing soul. As Frank Isenberg, Project Manager for M Automobiles at BMW M GmbH, confirms: “Our aim was to give our customer base, who head out onto the track weekend after weekend (many still in an original BMW M), another genuinely compact, sporting M car to work with. The M2 Coupe spent a fair share of its development phase in testing at the Nürburgring and brings us back pretty close to that original idea.”

The most important ingredient in the BMW M2 was already present and correct on delivery to BMW M GmbH: rear-wheel drive. Once inside the gates, however, an Active M Differential was added as standard to maximise directional stability and traction. And the BMW engine was tweaked to prepare it for track use. “We modified the engine’s cooling system and oil supply, in particular, to help it ensure ultra-quick cornering and the highest possible top speed,” explains BMW M engine developer Marcus Engelke.

Compact in dimensions but big on power, the BMW M2 Coupe races from 0 to 100 km/h in just 4.3 seconds with the seven-speed BMW M Double Clutch Transmission fitted – or 4.5 seconds with the six-speed M manual gearbox.

The first metres after a Launch Control-enhanced getaway leave an indelible impression: “We modified the engine’s cooling system and oil supply, in particular, to help it ensure ultra-quick cornering and the highest possible top speed,” explains BMW M engine developer Marcus Engelke.

The first metres after a Launch Control-enhanced getaway leave an indelible impression: “We modified the engine’s cooling system and oil supply, in particular, to help it ensure ultra-quick cornering and the highest possible top speed,” explains BMW M engine developer Marcus Engelke.

Although the discs of the BMW M compound brakes have cooled down after a final lap of the track, the impressions left behind will linger a while yet. Take the BMW M2 Coupe’s direct responses to its driver’s commands: “Precision through the suspension, super-accurate steering and pin-sharp responses deliver unbeatable driving characteristics up to the physical limits,” says Frank Isenberg. “These are the authentic M genes, as per the original blueprint.”

Muscular design and a burly soundtrack

This DNA, which runs so innately through the BMW M2 Coupe, continues into its styling. Flared wheel arches and muscular skirts and aprons give it a brawny, confident appearance (as the only M model in its segment, it can afford to talk the talk). And then there are the flowing lines that lace together outstanding aerodynamics – enhanced by a front apron with large, engine-cooling air intakes, plus Air Curtains and a BMW M rear spoiler.

The sound generated by the specially developed BMW M exhaust system likewise brims with character, evoking the spirit of the race track inside the cockpit, in particular. And the engineers have given the car’s acoustic appeal an even stronger dose of authenticity by replicating one of the first things a professional racing team would do to make a car go faster: “We dispensed with soundproofing,” says Frank Isenberg. “Things are a bit louder as a result, but it’s the kind of sporting influence we wanted for the car.”

Staying for a moment with the driver-focused M cockpit: the BMW M2 Coupe offers intuitive control and short reaction times to sate the sporting appetite, thanks to ergonomic seats, plus switches and controls arranged directly around the driver’s seat. So far, so typical M. The wide centre console houses the entertainment, climate control and comfort-enhancing functions, all of which the front passenger also has at his or her fingertips. And so we arrive at the iDrive Controller, the key to extending the onboard fun beyond the driving experience alone, which can be used to operate a GoPro camera mounted inside the car via the GoPro app installed as standard.

Pleasure of an irreplaceable kind

Unrestricted everyday usability is written into the DNA of each and every car built by BMW and fettled by BMW M GmbH. It is a quality the BMW M2 Coupe also possesses, but with an extra dimension involved; when even trips to the post box involve taking corners at speed, the nature of everyday use would appear to be changing. That’s if you resist the temptation to drive on and deliver the letter in person – the further away the address, the better.

The future face of driving – autonomous, electric and arguably a little sterile – is a hot topic right now. Perhaps at some point in the years ahead we will need another word for driving, one which distinguishes between “being driven” and “driving yourself”. Something that will require no new title is driving pleasure, a phenomenon that cannot be generated digitally, communicated virtually or experienced indirectly. Think of the BMW M2 Coupe and its ilk as compasses guiding you along the most direct route from one corner to the next.

Flared wheel arches and muscular aprons create a confident appearance. The car’s flowing forms, front apron with large air intakes, Air Curtains and BMW M rear spoiler all add up to outstanding aerodynamics.

Model facts

BMW M2 Coupé

Displacement cc
Cylinders

2979
6

Output
kW (hp)


272 (370)

Torque Nm

465

Top speed km/h

250

Acceleration
0–100 km/h in s

4,5

Fuel Economy (EU)
l/100 km
urban
inter-urban
combined


11,6
6,7
8,5

CO2 emissions
g/km

199

Energy efficiency rating

F

04/12/2017