18 Feb Is the BMW M2 the BMW M We Have Been Waiting For?
Is The BMW M2, The BMW M We Have Been Waiting For?
At Sprint Motorsports, we are fans of the BMW brand, but we have to admit that over recent years it seems like the sanctity and prestige of the M model has been watered down. Is the M2 the car we have been waiting for? It seems that BMW is hoping it is.
Cars designated with the M Badge of Spartan royalty and followed by a single digit were originally the chosen models born and designed in BMW M Motorsports Division in GmbH for winning days at the track and slapping competitors. M-division engineers can swiftly apply performance improvements learned from racing in the engine, drivetrain, suspension, and chassis to challenge competitors.
Lately, as BMW has broadened its product range, we have bared witness to a line-up of M-models that don’t have the Spartan performance and power to weight ratios of their parents. They are heavier, larger, and with power bands that don’t satisfy the enthusiast and often lacked in numbers on paper versus the competition . An M followed by the word “sport” is BMW code for more aggressive interior and exterior styling cues and minor suspensions and engine tweaks. M Performance items represent BMW add-on products through its parts channels that can turn a standard BMW into an M Sport model or better.
I will admit, the 1M and the 235i are great cars and remind me of the fun and nimble E36 M3. Unfortunately, the 1M was hard to get at the time and is now hard to find. The 235i just wasn’t sporty enough. You would have to throw a lot of aftermarket products at it to satiate our desires. In comes the M2 to satisfy the younger segment.
BMW may have finally gotten back to its roots with the M2. It has a wheelbase that is 4.8 inches shorter than the M3/M4. It weighs in at under 3300lbs. It comes equipped with the potent S55 3.0 Liter inline six twin turbo motor blowing through a valvetronic variable-intake-valve-lift system that delivers 365, and can easily be upgraded to well beyond 440hp. The suspension is mostly aluminum. The power to weight ratio is better that the recently retired v-8 powered E90 M3 and M4 coupe models and is nimble enough to beat the new F80 series M3/M4 at the track….and it is all in the low $60,000 range.
After a solid test day with the BMW M2, this car fits like a glove. Although not as Spartan as a M30 M3, it is definitely best M car to come along in a while. For me, it was definitely better than an E46 M3 and felt like what the United States E36 M3 should have been, the better equipped Euro version with the S50B32 motor. Except, the BMW M2 is better, the chassis is stiffer, and the suspension is a much better link design. It has won me as solid fan and may just be the one of the best M cars ever, in my own opinion.
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