mReview: BMW M2 Coupe – Sheer Driving Pleasure

Published by on . Updated on 19 May 2024

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Some days at work are better than others, the few days I had with the latest BMW M2 is firmly set in the better-than-others category and today I’m going to explain to you why.

The car in question is the G87 generation BMW M2, the second iteration of BMW’s baby sports car and the spiritual successor to the fabled BMW 1 Series M Coupe (or BMW 1M as most people call it). The biggest change to this M2 is actually below the skin, this car now shares most of its underpinnings with its bigger brother, the M4. 

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One of the things that isn’t shared with the M4 though, is the M4’s giant schnozz, although the M2 did create its own fair share of controversy when the first photos were released. The M2 has this boxier, square-jawed look to it that many didn’t like and one I wasn’t sure about either. Having now seen it in person though, I think it’s grown on me, it has a strong, muscular presence on the road and to my eye it gives off a sort of gundam-vibe to it that I really like especially in the M2-exclusive Zandvoort Blue colour our test car came in. 

Now before I go into what really matters with the M2, I should probably cover some of the practical bits so here we go. 390L of boot space, two small rear seats, wireless charging, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, physical buttons for the important vehicle functions but some are still locked behind a menu in the screen. Ok now that that’s all done, on to the meat and potatoes. 

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The M2 gets the same 3-litre, twin-turbo, straight-six, B58 engine found in the M3 and M4 but it is slightly detuned. In this car, it produces 453hp and 550Nm of torque, a little bit down on the power figures of the M3 and M4 but I’m sure there’ll be a Competition variant soon that’ll close that gap. Even without the inevitable power bump though, this M2 still makes 90 more horsepowers than its predecessor. 

As it stands, all that juice is able to rocket the M2 from 0-100km/h in 4.1s or 4.3s depending on if you have the 8-speed auto or the 6-speed manual transmission respectively. In standard trim, the M2 tops out at an electronically-limited 250km/h that expands to 285km/h with the optional M Driver’s package. 

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It’s just as well that this car has increased power figures because this car has had increases in just about every dimension. This car is now longer, wider, and heavier than the old M2, tipping the scales at a scarcely believable 1.8 tons. It will please the reader to know then, that the M2 masks its weight remarkably well.

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Once you get above 2,500rpm, the power royally kicks in and propels you into unpublishable-speed-territory with force. Given the choice of transmissions, I would personally prefer the stick shift to do all the gear rowing myself. I find the 8-speed M Steptronic automatic gearbox a little too slow on the upshifts, though the carbon fibre shift paddles are a treat. 

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With its objectively massive 275 front and 285 rear tyres, the M2 is able to rock up to any corner with correspondingly massive amounts of grip available to it. On entry, that insane amount of grip and huge six-pot front brakes mean you can properly stand on the brakes to shed off the speed you’ve undoubtedly arrived with. Bleed off the brakes and you’ll find a front end so beautifully nimble and sharp, working in perfect harmony with you to bring that nose into the apex. The M2 then shows you how wonderfully balanced it is in the mid-corner before you can lean on the throttle and blast yourself down to the next bend. 

You do have to keep your wits about you though because being a powerful rear-wheel-drive car, the M2 can and will step its tail out if you fail to respect it. Irresponsible throttle application or driving inputs can unsettle the car and leave the faint of heart driving home with the music off. But if you know what you’re doing, the M2 rewards you. Even when you do break traction, the chassis of the car is so communicative and makes it so easy to predict and then catch any slides. 

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Should you want maximum hoon-ery, BMW has very helpfully included the M Drift Analyser mode that turns off all the electronic nannies so you can get the car well sideways. It will even rate how good your drifts were afterwards so you can show your friends just how much of a driving god you are. 

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Speaking of modes though, that’s one of my biggest gripes with the M2. It’s far too complicated. There’re three different settings in the M Mode menu, Road, Sport, or Track. But choosing one of these doesn’t actually change how the car drives, it just changes the look of the digital gauge cluster, heads up display, and turns off some of the safety features like parking sensors. 

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If you want to change the drive modes, you can use the M1 and M2 buttons on the steering wheel to get you to two saved presets. To change the presets, you have another menu where you can change a whole bunch of different variables. In this menu, you can adjust your engine, steering, suspension, and brakes. There’re also six different settings for the gearbox and ten levels for the traction control. It’s absolutely ludicrous, there is no way all of this is necessary. 

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Therein lies the root of one of the most contrasting personalities of any car I’ve tested. In many respects, the M2 is old-school. In an age where emissions and EVs are king, a car like this with a fuel consumption figure of just 5.6km/l (this was with me driving, your fuel economy will probably be better) is just unsustainable. But with the setting of the gas-guzzler sun, so too fades something I regard higher than most anything else, fun. 

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The M2 is, before anything else, fun. I had such a lovely time with it and could hardly bear to give it back. It’s full of life and has a soul, a powerful one too, urging you to keep driving and to keep turning gasoline into speed, noise, and happiness. Sheer Driving Pleasure has been what BMW has been promoting for ages, and with the M2, sheer driving pleasure is what they have achieved. 

BMW M2 Coupe 3.0
Price (at time of publishing): $512,888 including COE  VES Band: C2
6-cylinder in-line M TwinPower Turbocharged

2,993 cc
Power & Torque:
453 bhp @ 6,250 rpm 
& 550 Nm @ 2,650 - 5,870 rpm
8-speed M Steptronic automatic
Driven Wheels:
10.2 km/L
0-100 km/h:
4.1 seconds
Top Speed:
250 km/h
Fuel Tank Capacity:
52 litres
Dimensions (L x W x H):
4,580 mm x 1,887 mm 
x 1,403 mm
2,747 mm
Cargo Capacity:
390 litres

Read More: mReview: 2023 BMW M3 Touring - A Symbol of Automotive Triumph

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