EVERY TIME I SEE A BMW ON THE ROAD, I immediately think of the obnoxious Singaporean driver, dragging its name through the mud. It’s a shame, really. As far as Bimmers go, there are mostly no bad cars, only bad drivers.
But for a while, things hadn’t been looking great for BMW’s M division. The M3 and M4 coupe hadn’t exactly lived up to expectations, and that was reason enough to worry. The division’s future looked shaky, until the M2 came along. I was fortunate to take it out for a spin, but I only had a day to make it count. My goal for the day was simple: Don’t crash, stay alive and try to keep things civil.
Powered with just 370bhp, it is the baby of the M family. But even so, it is no snowflake. It represents a forgotten era, when the brand simply stood for handling, and not for the bells and whistles.
And less definitely is more. The M2, packaged with one engine, two transmissions and the bare necessities, is light, powerful and a true driver’s car. It reminds us dearly of the original pocket rocket, the legendary M3 (E30) of 1982 — a compact but swift sports saloon that’s increasing in value by the day. It also rivals the Audi RS3 and Porsche Cayman GTS, which says a lot.
It drives like a dream. Throttle response is exemplary and a meaty torque delivery ensures a fast feel at any rev; it peaks at 465Nm, which can be increased to 500Nm in short bursts under an overboost. With accurate steering, it is easy to catch on the rhythm no matter how fast you go. Even if you brake later than you should, fret not – the M2’s far too nimble and cautious to throw you into oversteer.
This baby is also imbued with important M4 qualities, such as the brakes, exhaust, suspension and Active M Differential, which uses sensors to determine traction and directional stability. Turn on the M Dynamic mode for a bit of wheel slip and controlled drifting.
As far as pride goes, the M2 is a small car with a large, fragile ego. Its broad chassis gives it a solid, tough stance, and its large twin-turbo six-cylinder engine is always quick to prove a point. Push its buttons, and it’ll be sure to have the last say. In case you were wondering, it clocks in 4.3 seconds at 100 km/h and maxes out at 250 km/h. While it might not be fast enough for the Autobahn, it is sufficient for the East Coast Expressway and a sure-fire way to earn yourself a speeding ticket, even for good drivers.
Yours for $289,888, including COE
ENGINE: 2,979cc, twin-scroll turbocharged six-cylinder in-line
POWER: 370 horsepower
TORQUE: 465Nm at 1,400-5,560rpm
0-100KM/H: 4.3 seconds (4.5 seconds)
TOP SPEED: 250 km/h
TRANSMISSION: 7-speed semi-auto dual-clutch (6-speed manual)