BMW M2 review
The BMW M2 is a hard-core version of the 2 Series but it’s still a very approachable sports car. Alternatives are more affordable, however, and can be had as convertibles.
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The BMW M2 is the baby of BMW’s range of high-performance M cars, but it’s still a seriously speedy sports car which is an absolute blast to drive. Sure, it shares plenty of mechanical bits and bobs with the more affordable BMW 2 Series, but to help you tell them apart it comes with a much more aggressive body kit.
It’s wider, for a start, and has plenty of gaping air intakes to help cool its more powerful engine. The BMW M2’s wheel arches stick out much further than the standard 2 Series’ too, which makes its narrow headlights look like a pair of wraparound sunglasses that are a few sizes too small. Small isn’t a word you’d use to describe the M2’s massive alloy wheels, though – or its four huge exhaust pipes which poke out under the bumper beside a contrasting black diffuser.
Don’t think the sporty visuals end when you step inside. The BMW M2 comes with some racing-car-inspired sports seats, generous helpings of faux carbon fibre, and contrasting stitching in the three colours of the M badge. Subtle it ain’t, but it certainly feels special.
Thankfully, all the sensible stuff’s there, too. So, you get an intuitive infotainment system with built-in sat nav, decent amounts of seat adjustment and plenty of places to hide away unsightly odds and ends. There’s just enough space in the back seats for adults to sit for short periods too, and there’s more room in the boot than you get in an Audi TTS or Porsche 718 Cayman.
You sit higher up in the BMW M2 than in these cars, though, so it’s just as easy to drive in town as the standard 2 Series. Head out onto a quiet country road, however, and the BMW M2 makes the standard 2 Series feel like it’s giving another car a piggyback. This is partly thanks to the sporty suspension, steering and braking components which it shares with the lairy BMW M4.
The BMW M2 takes plenty of the M4’s high-tech components and squeezes them into a smaller yet still seriously rapid package to make one of the best driver’s cars you can buy.
Unlike the M4, however, the M2 doesn’t feel intimidating to drive. It’s fast, but its huge tyres and direct steering mean it feels sure-footed enough that you can have fun without worrying about clipping a hedgerow if you get a bit carried away.
You don’t get any fancy adaptive dampers such as those in some alternatives but, truth be told, you don’t really need them. Besides, the fact that you can get the BMW M2 with a manual gearbox will be enough for most keen drivers.
Whichever ‘box you pick, you get a 3.0-litre straight-six engine producing 370hp as standard, and 410hp in more potent Competition guise. The latter makes for seriously rapid acceleration – it’ll dispatch the 0-60mph sprint in just 4.4 seconds.
Despite its serious turn of pace, the BMW M2 is still easy to drive for long periods. Sure, it’s noisier and less comfortable than the standard 2 Series, but it comes with cruise control as standard. A rather obvious omission is the lack of standard automatic emergency braking, but you can pay extra to have it fitted along with lane-departure warning as part of the Driving Assistant Pack.
That being said, you shouldn’t let this put you off the BMW 2 Series. It’s an excellent sports car that’s tons of fun to drive yet still practical enough to live with every day.