BMW M division’s head of development, Dirk Häcker, said the chassis revisions provide the new M2 with “significantly improved response and more progressive on-the-limit characteristics” than its predecessor. “We have altered the steering mapping, changed the spring and damper tuning and recalibrated the DSC [Dynamic Stability Control] system as well,” said Häcker. “It is still the benchmark in its class in terms of response and reactions, but it now slides with greater progressiveness and enthusiasm.”
Opinion: Why BMW decided to raise the bar with its M2 Competition
Power for the new M2 comes from a detuned version of BMW M’s S55 engine, as used by the M3 and M4. In the M2 Competition, the twin-turbo 3.0-litre unit delivers 404bhp between 5250rpm and 7000rpm and 405lb ft from 2350rpm to 5200rpm. This represents increases of 40bhp and 62lb ft over the original M2’s turbocharged 3.0-litre six-cylinder N55 engine, but it’s 21bhp less than in the M3 and M4, albeit with the same torque. It also means the M2 Competition has 44bhp and 95lb ft more than the turbocharged 2.5-litre four-cylinder Cayman GTS.
The M2 Competition’s kerb weight is 55kg heavier than the old M2’s at 1550kg in six-speed manual guise, largely due to the engine. Despite the added bulk, its power-to-weight ratio has risen by 17bhp per tonne over its predecessor to 261bhp per tonne. Drive is channelled through the same standard six-speed manual and optional seven-speed dual-clutch gearboxes as today’s M2.
They retain the same ratios as before and operate in combination with an electronic limited-slip Active M Differential, which provides a locking effect to the rear wheels of between 0% and 100% depending on the prevailing traction, yaw rate and steering angle, among other factors.
In anticipation of strict new CO2 emission guidelines, BMW M has given the engine a particulate filter. It is a development, Häcker said, that will also be adopted during running changes planned for the four-year-old M4 later this year (as scooped by Autocar in February).
As a result, the new M2 emits 225g/km of CO2 and averages 28.5mpg in manual guise and 209g/km and 30.7mpg with the dual-clutch gearbox fitted.