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First look at the BMW M2: Unadulterated power

There were lots of oohs and aahs at the recent unveiling of the all-powerful BMW M2 and if you are a BMW aficionado like I am, then you will notice the changes in an instant. Aesthetically, it's a damn fine-looking track-ready vehicle in the BMW M Sport DNA. That's the good news. The not-so-good news is that it will only be available in Mzansi from March 2023 onwards, and from early indications, the order book is filling up fast.
Image credit: Naresh Maharaj
Image credit: Naresh Maharaj

M performance

The new BMW M2 delivers signature M performance in a highly concentrated form. With its 338kW six-cylinder in-line engine, an optionally available six-speed manual gearbox and rear-wheel drive, the second generation of the compact high-performance sports car promises unadulterated driving pleasure. Compact dimensions together with powertrain and chassis technology adapted from the BMW M3/BMW M4 are at the heart of a vehicle concept that endows the new edition of the two-door model with beguiling agility and handling that remain easily controllable.

Thanks to the many M Sport attributes, the new BMW M2 continues the brand’s tradition of ultra-sporty models with compact dimensions that began in 1973 with the arrival of the BMW 2002 turbo. It is also building on the success of its predecessor, which notched up nearly 60,000 sales worldwide.

Compact dimensions

The large, frameless BMW kidney grille with its horizontal bars combines with a three-section lower air intake with almost rectangular contours to give the front end of the car a familiar M look. Clearly designed surfaces, prominently flared side skirts and muscular wheel arches set the tone for the side view.

Image credit: Naresh Maharaj
Image credit: Naresh Maharaj

The rear end of the new BMW M2 also has a compact, powerful feel and adds a number of individual touches in the form of the eye-catching spoiler lip on the boot lid, the vertically arranged reflectors, the rear apron’s diffuser insert – with its puristic design – and the two pairs of exhaust tailpipes positioned a long way in from the outer edges.

Image credit: Naresh Maharaj
Image credit: Naresh Maharaj
Image credit: Naresh Maharaj
Image credit: Naresh Maharaj
Image credit: Naresh Maharaj
Image credit: Naresh Maharaj

The choice of five exterior paint finishes available for the new BMW M2 includes the Zandvoort Blue solid and Toronto Red metallic shades exclusive to this model. An M carbon roof that reduces vehicle weight by around 6kgs is offered as an option.

Six of the best

The M2 has a six-cylinder in-line engine with instantaneous power delivery and a thrilling appetite for revs. The version of the straight-six engine developed for the compact high-performance model with M TwinPower Turbo technology and high-revving design stands out with its M-typical performance characteristics.

Differing only in a small number of details from the engine employed in the BMW M3 and BMW M4 models, the 3l unit thrills with its urgent response, healthy appetite for revs and linear power delivery into the highest reaches of the engine speed range.

Raw power

Developing a maximum output of 338kW, the engine under the bonnet of the new BMW M2 outguns the base unit used by its predecessor by 66kW. Peak torque of 550Nm is produced between 2,650 and 5,870rpm with maximum output arriving at 6,250rpm. The new engine revs to a maximum 7,200rpm.

The pulsating build-up of power is accompanied by an emotionally rich soundtrack generated by the M-specific exhaust system with electrically controlled flaps. A six-speed manual gearbox is available as an option for anyone seeking a performance experience in the classical mould, rooted in the intense interaction between driver and car. It lends itself to a sporty style of driving thanks to its precisely defined shift action.

Sprint to the finish

The new BMW M2 completes the sprint to 100 km/h from rest in 4.1 seconds with the eight-speed M Steptronic transmission and in 4.3 seconds when fitted with the six-speed manual gearbox. It is capable of powering from 0 to 200km/h in 13.5 seconds (automatic) or 14.3 seconds (manual).

The limited top speed of the new BMW M2 can be raised from 250km/h to 285 km/h by specifying the optional M Driver’s Package. Rear-wheel drive, M Traction Control and Active M Differential provide agility, precision and driving pleasure as the occasion demands.

The new BMW M2 has landed on South African shores, making its global debut recently at a media preview during the BMW M Fest. The sports car is expected to go on sale in the second quarter of 2023, and the pricing will be revealed closer to the launch date.

About Naresh Maharaj

Naresh Maharaj is a petrol head who loves cars and writing about them. He is also a Member of the SA Guild of Motoring Journalists. Naresh is also an international sports correspondent and an acclaimed corporate MC and voice-over artist. Naresh is a sports/news producer for community radio stations and also an award-winning sports journalist. Contact Naresh on moc.liamg@123jarahamn.

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