Chris Evans reviews BMW M2: BMW’s new mini monster is here – Daily Mail
The only question I am hearing wherever I go at the moment – apart from, ‘Have you been sacked from Top Gear yet for only getting nine million viewers a week?’ – is, are you a Brexiteer or a Bremainer? Are you in or out?
But here’s the thing: as fascinated as we all seem to be with what’s going to happen on June 23, are we not equally confounded by the fact that there has never been a pair of more unfocused, unsure of themselves, desperate and dissolute campaigns?
Two lots of chancers from (supposedly) opposite camps, vying for our precious votes without the slightest indication that any of them actually believe the guff they’re spouting.
The stand-out aesthetic was the stunning shade of ‘Long Beach blue’ our test car came in. Drop-dead gorgeous in the sunshine and at no extra cost. BMW have been listening!
I made a point of tuning in to the eminently watchable Andrew Marr last Sunday, looking forward to The Clash Of The Titans, starring Sir Johnny Of The Major and Bozza Johnson. And yet all the two of them succeeded in doing was leave me weeping on my sofa.
‘For once I’m going to say what I think,’ squealed Sir Johnny. Not exactly the most convincing overture.
What? You mean this is something you’ve never had the balls to do before? Whereas Bozza once again showed himself to be one of our most effective and colourful communicators while communicating precisely nothing at all.
Where’s Churchill when you need him? Thatcher even? If we’re not careful, we’ll end up with a Trump all of our own sitting with his feet up in Number 10.
A mate of mine is of the opinion that basically all nice people are for staying in the EU, while all passive-aggressive people with deep unresolved psychological issues want out, even though they don’t really know why.
Once everyone is sitting comfortably, generally decent space is available all round. And the standard dash and switchgear is as one would expect
It’s like: are you a cat person or a dog person? Are you a football or rugby person? Or are you a BMW or a Mercedes person?
It is generally accepted in the motoring world that this is the ultimate test of a petrolhead’s DNA.
Even if you happen to own neither, apparently we all firmly come down on one side of Berlin or the other. I’ve checked and it seems to be true.
My wife is Mercedes; the majority of the Top Gear crew is BMW; the mums on the school run almost 50/50, thanks mainly to the BMW X range; my mechanic Tim is BMW; and as for myself, having only recently addressed this phenomenon, it turns out I am Mercedes all the way.
Mercedesians prefer space, comfort and growl it seems, while BMWians hanker after a harder, more raucous and responsive ride. I think age may also play a part. And so it is with a super effort to remain impartial that I embark upon this week’s review of the dazzling new BMW M2.
Lightning quick, thanks to a spectacular transmission system and perfectly balanced at full tilt, it sounds amazing – especially in Sport Plus
First impression: this is a mini-monster, the equally feisty little brother of the recently released M4.
Aggressiveness remains the overriding theme. But with a much less meat-head, gym-bunny, swollen wheel-arch look than I expected from the press shots. The car actually sits quite beautifully on its four mean-street light alloy wheels.
Between back and front, back won for me – I’m a sucker for trademark quad pipes: it’s a symmetry thing. My kids, on the other hand, preferred the signature BMW grille and glare.
The other stand-out aesthetic was the stunning shade of ‘Long Beach blue’ our test car came in. Drop-dead gorgeous in the sunshine and at no extra cost. BMW have been listening!
Over the few days we were together, fellow BMW drivers, especially fellow M series owners, doffed their caps in admiration and respect for this newbie.
Only in profile does the styling come into question, things tending to get a little too busy at the front.
I suspect, however, this is to help with the head-on perspective. Like Disney does at its theme parks to make Sleeping Beauty’s Castle look twice as big as it at the end of Main Street.
Storage-wise, BMW has magically carved out a half-decent-size boot from a rear end that looks like it’s had its tail docked. How exactly they’ve achieved this cunning stunt I have no idea.
Inside now, and to the handy electric button that slowly rakes the front seats all the way forward, giving you the best opportunity to access the rear while avoiding A&E.
Once everyone is sitting comfortably, generally decent space is available all round. And the standard dash and switchgear is as one would expect.
Right then, to the real business of why any BMW M series exists. It’s all about the party behind the wheel.
Fire up the 3.0-litre normally aspirated six-pack and be prepared to wear a smile that may have to be surgically removed.
Next step, flick the gear lever either to the right for auto mode or select first gear via the paddle shift.
Finally, select one of the three driver modes – Sport Plus if you dare – all traction controls off and hang on to your bits. You are but a mere blip of your right foot away from the pleasure dome that is the M2.
I have recently had the good fortune to drive the McLaren 675 LT, the Ferrari 488 and the Lamborghini Huracan.
All of which cost more than four times the price of this car. And all of which are indeed technically far superior, but how much fun can you legally have on the highways of planet Earth? No more than this little cracker has to offer.
Storage-wise, BMW has magically carved out a half-decent-size boot from a rear end that looks like it’s had its tail docked. How exactly they’ve achieved this cunning stunt I have no idea
Lightning quick, thanks to a spectacular transmission system and perfectly balanced at full tilt, it sounds amazing – especially in Sport Plus.
Thank God also for the humongous anchors. Clearly visible through those moody spokes, they are more than up to the job of stopping you almost before you start, if required.
Engine 3.0-litre petrol turbo
Gearbox Six-speed manual
0-60mph 4.5 seconds
Top speed 155mph
Fuel consumption 33.2mpg
Annual road tax £270
The kids sensed more mischief and screamed from the back for a donut session, and I’m so glad they did. Dip the nose, boot the throttle and with a flick of the wrist left or right it’s hammer time.
Strewth, I haven’t come across anything that comes close to this twitchy bundle of dynamite when it comes to the gratuitous burning of rubber. What it’s like in the wet, I shudder to think!
Sure, compared to the howitzer that is the M4, on paper the M2 is lacking in firepower, but it simply doesn’t feel that way.
Especially as BMW Boy Tim and I were guessing it would come in at £60-£70K but – surprise surprise – the base price is only £44,070.
Our test model, which had an array of fancy-pants options including reversing-assist camera and adaptive headlights, cost £6,685 on top.
That’s a whole heap of BMW supercar engineering for a smidgen over £50K. Intended, I’m sure, to make potential M4 owners think twice about forking out £57K just for the entry level bigger boy.
AND THE VERDICT?
‘It’s all about the party behind the wheel: lightning quick, a twitchy bundle of dynamite. A dazzling car’
Which I suppose is a bit like most people’s dilemma when it comes to the EU vote. None of us really mind which way it goes, as long as we can afford it.
And for the record, I have been told I am nice but also have lots of unresolved issues, so haven’t got a clue which way to vote.
Budge up – any room on that fence?