From £43,7709
Vastly more composed and better-controlled on a challenging road than a regular M2, with a markedly improved power delivery, the M2 Competition is a huge leap forward for BMW M's affordable coupé
19 October 2018

What is it?

On the evidence of the launch event in Spain, the BMW M2 Competition is the M2 we’ve been waiting for. The original model, which you can no longer buy, was always a charming and entertaining sports coupé, but anybody who drove one with any degree of enthusiasm across a cresting or undulating road will know that it wasn't blessed with brilliant body control. There were times when the M2 would frighten the life out of you by apparently trying to unstick its rear tyres from the road surface entirely whenever you popped up over the top of a sharp brow.

It was a handling trait the larger M3 and M4 that arrived before it were similarly afflicted by, and the reason why the M2 was never quite as rewarding to drive as a Porsche 718 Cayman S. Just as Competition and subsequently CS versions of the M3 and M4 were far better to drive than earlier models, the M2 Competition is a huge step on from the M2.

For this most recent version, the M Division has fitted a front strut brace, retuned the steering map and dropped a handful of rose joints into the rear suspension in a bid to make the car altogether more cohesive and responsive. The spring rates and damper settings (now passive only) have been adjusted too.

Up front, meanwhile, the twin-turbocharged straight six from the M3 and M4 replaces the old single-turbo unit, although it has been detuned to 404bhp and 405lb ft for this installation. The new motor contributes to a 55kg weight increase, which means at 1625kg the M2 Competition is a good deal heavier than its compact dimensions would have you believe. 

What's it like?

Those revised suspension settings do make for a tighter and more unyielding ride quality at low speed around town, but in every other respect they are a huge step forward. Even on a bumpier road at higher speed, there’s enough sophistication in the damping of this car that the wheels can rise and fall individually over the shape of the road without the body being skipped or jolted about. The M2 Competition is so much more settled and composed than the M2 that it feels like an entirely new car rather than an updated one.

Body control over crests and undulations, meanwhile, has gone through the roof. No longer does it feel as though the car might bounce itself clean off the Tarmac. The steering is keener and more intuitive, too, all of which means you drive along a winding road with a level of confidence that the M2 driver could only dream of.

The old M2 strong points are still very much in evidence, notably a sweet natural chassis balance that allows you drive right up to the car’s limit of grip, as well as a transition from neutral balance to power oversteer that’s as smooth as cream pouring from a jug. The M2 Competition is every bit as happy being driven neatly and with precision as it is playing the tyre-smoking hooligan on circuit.

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Combined with a high-quality cabin that offers space for four, plus a more than useful boot, that wide operating window makes the M2 Competition one of the most broadly capable performance cars on sale at this price point today. It is far more usable every day than a 718 Cayman S or an Alpine A110 without being much less enjoyable to drive.

The M2 Competition would be a massive step on from the M2 even if the old engine had been carried over unchanged. The twin-turbo motor is more responsive in the lower reaches and there is good energy towards the top end, but its soundtrack is more monotonous and it doesn’t suddenly make the car feel much more accelerative in a straight line. At least there is still a choice of transmissions, our preference being the six-speed manual rather than the seven-speed DCT. 

Should I buy one?

For existing M2 owners, the answer to that should be blindingly obvious. The new model is far more enjoyable to drive than the old version while giving next to nothing away.

It used to be the case the M2 was the circa-£50,000 sports coupé of choice for people who needed more space than was offered by a mid-engined, two-seater alternative, but the M2 Competition is now so good to drive that it would stand toe-to-toe with its supremely talented rivals even if it didn’t have rear seats. 

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BMW M2 Competition specification

Where Anglesey Price £49,805 On sale Now Engine 6 cyls in line, 2963cc, twin-turbo, petrol Power 404bhp at 5250-7000rpm Torque 405lb ft at 2350-5200rpm Gearbox 7-spd twin-clutch automatic Kerb weight 1625kg Top speed 155mph 0-62mph 4.4sec Fuel economy 30.7mpg CO2 227g/km Rivals Porsche 718 Cayman S, Alpine A110

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Comments
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BertoniBertone 22 October 2018

The curse of the S55: power but no glory.

Mark my words. It always happens.  The hype, the gushing press....then the reality. That S55 is the most unengaging, 'non-BMW' BMW engine for ages, despite the power. Even the N55 sounds better, a lot better. In 10 years, it'll be the N55 M2, not the lardy Competition (1625kg is hilariously heavy for a 'sports' car) where the smart money will be. 

This is now just a tweaked M4 with more weight and still a poorly located rear axle.... that'll be shown up by any 718 Cayman, especially when the 'T' arrives.

NoPasaran 20 October 2018

Probably quite ok this ride...

...but when I see who drives these M cars, typical 20-30yo eastern-european-turkish-slick-hair-and-beard type of dudes with not much intelligence on their faces, often in pairs (probably latent homosexuals), with loud disgustingly crackling exhausts (really shitty sound), revving the engines from red lights...I just do not want to associate myself with this type of crowd. My gf is from Eastern Europe and she refuses to buy, or have me buy, or drive the M cars, for the same reason. I rather associate myself with old boring rich professional crowd and drive a 911.

Case in point: The famous gold-covered M5, where from? Russia. The owner, a typical low level criminal is being prosecuted for money laundering as we speak.

robhardyuk 21 October 2018

NoPasaran wrote:

NoPasaran wrote:

...but when I see who drives these M cars, typical 20-30yo eastern-european-turkish-slick-hair-and-beard type of dudes with not much intelligence on their faces, often in pairs (probably latent homosexuals), with loud disgustingly crackling exhausts (really shitty sound), revving the engines from red lights...I just do not want to associate myself with this type of crowd. My gf is from Eastern Europe and she refuses to buy, or have me buy, or drive the M cars, for the same reason. I rather associate myself with old boring rich professional crowd and drive a 911.

Case in point: The famous gold-covered M5, where from? Russia. The owner, a typical low level criminal is being prosecuted for money laundering as we speak.

What a load of dribble

Sundym 21 October 2018

Eh?

NoPasaran wrote:

...but when I see who drives these M cars, typical 20-30yo eastern-european-turkish-slick-hair-and-beard type of dudes with not much intelligence on their faces, often in pairs (probably latent homosexuals), with loud disgustingly crackling exhausts (really shitty sound), revving the engines from red lights...I just do not want to associate myself with this type of crowd. My gf is from Eastern Europe and she refuses to buy, or have me buy, or drive the M cars, for the same reason. I rather associate myself with old boring rich professional crowd and drive a 911.

Case in point: The famous gold-covered M5, where from? Russia. The owner, a typical low level criminal is being prosecuted for money laundering as we speak.

This has to be a parody ? Surely ?

scotty5 21 October 2018

Dear Editor

NoPasaran wrote:

...but when I see who drives these M cars, typical 20-30yo eastern-european-turkish-slick-hair-and-beard type of dudes with not much intelligence on their faces, often in pairs (probably latent homosexuals), with loud disgustingly crackling exhausts (really shitty sound), revving the engines from red lights...I just do not want to associate myself with this type of crowd.

Dear editor, what place has racist, homophobic dribble on these pages?

Note to commentators - the more replies like the above, the more chance Autocar will kill offour ability to comment.

 

Peter Cavellini 21 October 2018

For future Troll removal

 At the bottom of the page there is a get in touch to click on, there you’ll find the person to mention about People like the him, give whatever handle he is using and which Topic he is commenting on, usually works.

 

 

 

NoPasaran 21 October 2018

Peter Cavellini wrote:

Peter Cavellini wrote:

 At the bottom of the page there is a get in touch to click on, there you’ll find the person to mention about People like the him, give whatever handle he is using and which Topic he is commenting on, usually works

and you are just extremely annoying, as it has been pointed out numerous times by numerous forumites

NoPasaran 21 October 2018

boo!

scotty5 wrote:

NoPasaran wrote:

...but when I see who drives these M cars, typical 20-30yo eastern-european-turkish-slick-hair-and-beard type of dudes with not much intelligence on their faces, often in pairs (probably latent homosexuals), with loud disgustingly crackling exhausts (really shitty sound), revving the engines from red lights...I just do not want to associate myself with this type of crowd.

Dear editor, what place has racist, homophobic dribble on these pages?

Note to commentators - the more replies like the above, the more chance Autocar will kill offour ability to comment.

 

You don't know first thing about real racism.

You don't have any sense of humour either, obviously, but you are very touchy and politically correct, proponent of 1984 approach most likely. And scared.

I have noticed that in exactly the self-proclaimed "democratic" countries with "freedom of speech" the comments are heavily cleaned or comment sections are completely closed. One has to read forums of sites from "undemocratic" boogey-man countries to experience the actual un adulterated freedom of speech. 

Overdrive 20 October 2018

The same rating as the old version?

Autocar wrote:

...the new model is far more enjoyable to drive than the old version while giving next to nothing away....

An yet it is awarded 4.5 stars by Autocar, exactly the same as the old version!