2016 BMW M2 – video review

Forget the M4, get this instead – it’s a proper Beemer

By Shahzad Sheikh

BMW is winding me up! Every time I lose hope in the brand and think to give up on it, it goes and chucks something rather special in my direction – usually attached to an ‘M’. Previously I’d fallen for the 1M, and now it’s the M2. Click below to watch my video review.

Yes okay, I did review the M3/M4 and I did really like it – but whilst it was an absolutely brilliant track-attack car that was both forgiving and fun to pedal hard, it is almost race-car raw. It’s set up stiff enough to transmit the presence of a line of M&Ms lying on the tarmac so accurately up your spine, that you’d not only taste them on your tongue, but even know what colour they each were.

2016 BMW M2

In the real world, that means it would be a little tiresome for the daily commute. And by the time it hit our shores its priced had hiked up to well over the entry level on a Porsche 911.

Hold the phone!

Wasn’t the whole point of a M3 (or now M4, or both, or whichever) precisely that you could still own a racy precision-engineered German traffic-carver with a keychain to die for, even though you couldn’t afford the iconic rear-engined road-racer from Stuttgart.

2016 BMW M2

Unsurprisingly both these automotive legends were qualified must-have ‘Yuppiemobiles’ in the 1980s depending on how far up the upwardly mobile you were – ie if you couldn’t afford the Porker you’d get the Beemer. So to my mind if you can have a 911 – even a base one (my personal preference actually) – for the same money or more than a BMW M3/M4, you’d always rather have a Butzi special!

So BMW – are you losing the plot? I was pondering this still when I got a few days in all-new full-fat bells-and-whistles BMW 750 earlier this year.

2016 BMW M2

The last good Seven to me was the one Pierce Brosnan launched off Brent Cross shopping centre in Tomorrow Never Dies. The latest model is a tech-fest that merely nods an acknowledgement to the necessity of a driver. Think of it as Picard’s Enterprise D (they didn’t really need a Sulu on that, did they?) to Kirk’s original Boldly-goer.

That’s it then. Nothing to see here, car people. Move on. Try Alfa Romeo.

2016 BMW M2

Oh but wait. Turns out it’s a bit too early to throw BMW on the has-beens pile along with Honda, because along comes this little M2.

An sweet and smooth in-line straight six of 3.0 litres putting out 365bhp and 369lb ft in a package that weighs just 1570kg and is about the size of an E30 BMW – that’s translates to 0-100kph in 4.3 seconds and a top speed of 250kph (270 if you opt for the M Pack). All of this at a price tag starting at well under AED300,000 (that’s the price of a Ram truck less than an M4!).

2016 BMW M2

Those are just numbers though – what they don’t convey is the way this thing sits with serious intent – short, stubby and bulging for business, just check out the outrageous flaring over the rear wheel arch and the Earth-chomping chizzled jaw line. The only thing missing is a great big picnic-table spoiler – might as well in something as overtly potent as this, innit?

Sure it’s all 2 Series practical (see my review on the M235i here), but forget all that. Just get in and drive. Revel in the endless torque of that delicious motor, flick up and down the snappy and diligent 7-speed dual clutch paddleshift – you can even get it as a 6-speed manual (acceleration drops fractionally to 4.5seconds 0-100).

2016 BMW M2

Go searching for the considerable limits of grip from the phat Michelin Pilot Super Sports knowing that the chassis and body-control will fill you with confidence, and the surprisingly tactile helm will be faithful, true and full of feedback. The handling is both darty and predictable. This car is a superb automotive template example on how to perfectly balance everything.

Gun it down your favourite road and you’ll laugh out loud. Line up at the lights and you’ll leave them staring at your gorgeous quads wondering why there isn’t a bigger spoiler on that booty. Stick it in the company car park and the lovely bodywork will ping with envious glances. Drive around town and you’ll be grateful for better economy than a Civic (this does 8.5L/100km).

2016 BMW M2

Verdict

It really is all win-win and there are no compromises – as long as you don’t need to use those rear seats too often. It’s a fantastically fearsome little sports car and a perfectly practical pal the rest of the time. You’ll look back at it each time you park, and you’ll get up early on a Friday to go for a blast.

With the arrival of the M2 I don’t see why anyone would buy an M4.

2016 BMW M2 – The Specs

Price: AED290,000 ($79k)
Engine: 3.0-litre straight-6 twin-scroll Turbo, 365bhp @ 6500rpm, 369lb ft @ 1400rpm
Performance: 0-100kph 4.3, 250kph, 8.5L/100km
Transmission:  7-speed auto, rear-wheel drive
Weight:  1570kg

Let us know what you think of the new M2 below

 

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