The M2 looks the part, mostly on account of the bespoke chassis underneath.
The M240i’s problem, visually, is a lack of girth, but the M2’s 71mm increase in rear track width and additional 64mm at the front solves that, while confirming that M division has repeated the 1M trick of plundering the M3/M4 chassis for its more capable suspension components.
Both axles are extensively modified over regular 2 Series models, including forged aluminium wheel carriers and control arms. There’s additional bracing between the suspension towers to augment stiffness, while at the back, the bushes have been dispensed with altogether and the subframe is attached directly to the body.
The 19in forged rims at either side of the five-link rear axle are now 10in wide, and visible beneath them are uprated M compound steel brakes.
Efforts to make the physically larger M2 lighter have paid off; on our scales, it weighed only 15kg more than the M235i we tested in 2014 and maintained the established 52 percent front, 48 percent rear weight distribution.
Over the nose is BMW’s familiar N55 six-cylinder engine, although the twin-scroll turbocharged 3.0-litre unit gets a round of updates that boost power to 365bhp at 6500rpm. The all-aluminium engine receives a number of high-end components from the M3/M4’s S55 motor, such as the pistons, while cooling and lubrication have been upgraded.
Peak torque is 343lb ft at 1400-5560rpm, although an overboost function makes 369lb ft over a slightly shorter range (1450-4750rpm).
The M2 gets an auto-blipping six-speed manual gearbox as standard, or an optional seven-speed M DCT dual-clutch automatic transmission, as fitted to our test car.
BMW’s Active M Differential – an electronically controlled multi-plate LSD also shared with the M3/M4 – marshals the drive at the rear, which, unlike the M240i, is where the M2 exclusively sends its power.
A recent facelift, saw BMW avoid tampering with the mechanicals and keep all changes merely cosmetic. However, there is growing suggestions that BMW ahead of the second generation M2 will produce a final hurrah in the shape of a stripped out M2 CSL with its 3.0-litre engine punching out 400bhp.