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.