That lack of an ‘L’ in the name: it means the M2 CS weighs the same as the M2 Competition, at 1550kg – or 1575kg with the optional seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox, which is what we have here.
Elsewhere, the CS is similarly recognisable from the Competition. The 3.0-litre twin-turbo straight six remains, with its beautiful bowed carbonfibre strut brace, as does BMW’s Active M rear differential.
The rigidly mounted lightweight rear subframe is also carried over, along with the ball-jointed suspension. Both cars then use the same MacPherson strut and multi-link designs for the front and rear axles respectively, and there’s no difference in track widths or the ratio of the electromechanical steering. However, the CS does sit marginally closer to the road than the Competition and, at its widest point, adds 17mm in girth.
The devil, as ever, is in the detail (and, we’ll admit, also in the unmissable new bodykit, more on which shortly). The CS marks the first time an M2 has been furnished with M’s multi-mode adaptive suspension, the hardware for which has been lifted directly from the M4, albeit with bespoke tuning.
Because of the higher forces involved, especially on track, where owners will be able to put the car’s optional Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres to work, the characteristics of the fast-acting and widely variable multiplate rear differential have also been altered. The same is true of BMW’s famed M Dynamic mode, although it still allows for generous yaw without disabling the DSC entirely.
The forged Y-spoke wheels are also new and lighter than those of the Competition yet encouragingly no larger in diameter or width. With 444bhp, the monstrous S55 makes 40bhp more than before, although only due to an electronic tickle, and the power curve peaks slightly further up the rev range at a juicy 6250rpm. Peak torque remains at 405lb ft, arriving at just 2350rpm. It’s a fitting farewell for this long-serving unit before the new S58 assumes duties for the next generation of M cars, and the CS certainly shouldn’t want for straight-line potency. Marshalling all that energy are the brakes, which for the first time on any M2 are optionally available with carbon-ceramic discs. Our car has them, as denoted by the gold painted calipers.
Finally, the CS-specific bodywork includes the CFRP roof found on the GT4 racing cars. Along with the drop in ride height, the panel lowers the car’s centre of gravity, and it also stiffens the shell. The carbonfibre-composite bonnet and its lurid vent are also shared with the GT4 cars, although the crenellated Gurney flap and fanged front splitter are all new for the road car. The overall effect is that the M2 CS is more neutral in terms of lift as it approaches its 174mph top speed. The side effect is the fact that you’re highly unlikely to miss one of these cars burbling by.