Smaller and lighter than the M3, the BMW M2 could be the best M-car on sale when it shows itself mid-year, but we've spied it getting ready to conquer the world
WELCOME to the BMW M2 – surely one of the most anticipated cars of 2016, sprung here undergoing a final and frenetic wintry shakedown prior to its third-quarter global debut.
Stepping above the delicious BMW M235i Coupe, the F87 two-door is set to take centre stage within the next six months (September’s Frankfurt Motor Show is probably a good bet), before surfacing in Australia in the middle of next year.
What we’ve been hearing has us tantalised – a worked 3.0-litre bi-turbo straight six delivering close to 300kW of power and maybe even up to 500Nm of torque, driving the rear wheels (of course) via a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. However, some reports suggest the latter might end up being a revised version of the ZF eight-speed torque converter auto found in the M235i. We hope it's teh former.
Underpinning the M2 is an M Divison subset of go-faster suspension, steering and differential components, some shared with the larger (and heavier) M3/M4, though of course heavily modified for duty in the lighter 2 Series bodyshell.
The camo in the pix highlights the changes that have had to be made in order to accommodate the wider tracks, resulting in a stronger and stiffer structure. The usual M trademarks like larger air intakes, reprofiled bumpers, mudguard gills, quad pipes and massive brakes are obvious in the images. Expect, too, an M2 Convertible ragtop based on the recently released al fresco 2 Series.
With the larger M cars growing in size, it is clear that the M2 Coupe has a very specific role to play as the true torchbearer of the traditional M Division driver’s car philosophy. Visceral, raw and uncompromised, it needs to eclipse the epic 250kW/450Nm 1M Coupe of 2011 to earn a place among M car greats like the E30 M3 of the mid ‘80s.
Pricing is anybody’s guess at this stage, but we’re hoping the M2 Coupe won’t stray too far from the $99,900 plus on-roads ask of the old 1M, of which 302 made it to Australian showrooms in 2011 and 2012.
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