Flat out in the new BMW M2 – Top Gear

Posted: Sunday, March 27, 2016

This particular today, the sun rises on the M2 for my first sight of it. The proportions are squat and the light licks over its amply contoured sides, distended as they are to cover a significantly wider track than any other 2-Series. The rear wings are actually 80mm wider than normal. At the front, huge intakes gulp air that’s guided by scything aerofoils. Behind, M’s usual four tailpipes trumpet their audible and, equally, visual message. From no angle is it exactly beautiful, but from every one it looks like it determinedly means business, of the most engaging kind.

A good start. And it’s small. Much shorter than an M4, overall and in the wheelbase. That should by all rights make it more wieldy and lighter. Except that the M2, being the cheaper one, doesn’t have the exotic carbon-fibre body parts of the M4, so it ended up weighing, at 1,495kg, hardly any less. Ah well. It’s got a 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine of 370bhp and 369lb ft. (Actually the spec sheet says 343lb ft, but an overboost function can run for 30 seconds straight, and I can’t imagine a circumstance when you’d need longer.) The M4, which has two turbos and a significantly different engine, makes 431bhp. But the M2’s single-turbo engine isn’t just the standard BMW direct-injection double-VANOS 3.0-litre; it has M3 pistons and M3 main bearings, and a special exhaust. It also has cooling and oiling greatly upgraded for track work.

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