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2016 BMW M2 Review - First Look

A modern-day BMW 2002 Turbo?

Jason Udy
Oct 14, 2015

BMW has just revealed the smallest (and likely the most affordable) entrant in its M performance line of vehicles. The new 2016 BMW M2 coupe leads the current BMW M235i as the top performance model in the 2 Series lineup. The M2, which was developed on the grueling Nrburgring, is the spiritual successor to the 2011-2012 BMW 1M Coupe.

Power for the new 2016 BMW M2 comes from the automaker's N55 engine family. The 3.0-liter, turbocharged I-6 engine features an alloy block and head with four-valve DOHC design with direct-injection, Valvetronic variable valve lift control, Double-Vanos variable camshaft timing, and a twin-scroll turbocharger. With a 10.2:1 compression ratio, the boosted engine makes 365 hp at 6,500 rpm and 343 lb-ft of torque at 1,400-5,560 rpm. An overboost function temporarily boosts peak torque to 369 lb-ft from 1,450 to 4,750 rpm. BMW notes that the new M2 coupe makes 70 lb-ft more than the last-gen M3 with the 4.0-liter V-8. The quad-tipped exhaust system features an electronically controlled flap for a more boisterous sound.

Transmission choices include a six-speed manual with automatic rev matching or a seven-speed dual-clutch (M DCT with Drivelogic) gearbox. The automaker's Active M differential puts power to the ground. BMW claims that when equipped with the dual-clutch transmission and launch control, the new M2 coupe can reach 60 mph in 4.2 seconds; manual-equipped cars take 4.4 seconds. The BMW M2 coupe is governed at 155 mph.

To improve fuel consumption, BMW equipped the M2 coupe with auto start/stop and brake energy regeneration. Additionally, the coolant pump only operates when required, the oil pump is map controlled, and the air-conditioning compressor is disconnected when not in use. Electric power steering also helps reduce fuel consumption.

The BMW M2 coupe's engine has been built to withstand sustained track abuse. The oil system features an additional oil sump cover to control oil movement under acceleration as well as a special suction system to supply oil to the turbo under acceleration. An extra suction pump sends oil to the rear under heavy braking. An additional coolant radiator keeps the M2 coupe's engine temperatures in check, and DCT-equipped models feature a transmission oil cooler.

2016 BMW M2 Coupe engine 01 Photo 11/53   |   2016-BMW-M2-Coupe-engine-01

In order to reduce overall vehicle weight and improve handling, the BMW M2 coupe features aluminum front and rear axles from the larger M3 sedan and M4 coupe. BMW says the front strut suspension's aluminum control arms, wheel carriers, axle subframe, and the stiffening plate for the double-joint spring-strut front save 11 pounds overall. Aluminum is also used in the struts and tubular anti-roll bar. The front end is stiffened by an underbody plate that connects the axle subframe and the body stills. Out back, the rear five-link suspension features forged aluminum control arms and wheel carriers, which save 6 pounds. The rear subframe is made from lightweight steel.

The 2016 BMW M2 coupe rides on a set of staggered forged alloy wheels and Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires. Up front, steering duties are handled by a set of 19-by-9-inch wheels wrapped in 245/35R19 tires, and the rear 19-by-10-inch wheels are wrapped in 265/35R19 tires. Braking duties are handled by a set of 15-inch rotors clamped by four-piston calipers up front and a set of 14.5-inch rotors and two-piston calipers out back. The rotors feature a two-piece design with an aluminum hub and a gray cast-iron friction surface; the calipers are a fixed design.

2016 BMW M2 Coupe wheel 01 Photo 12/53   |   2016-BMW-M2-Coupe-wheel-01
2016 BMW M2 Coupe grille and badge Photo 16/53   |   2016 BMW M2 Review - First Look

BMW's Active M differential puts power to the ground. The multiplate limited-slip differential can lock from 0 to 100 percent depending on input from the dynamic stability control (DSC) system's various sensors. As with the upcoming Ford Focus RS, the new 2016 BMW M2 coupe comes with a "drift mode." The DSC features a new M Dynamic mode (MDM), which allows more wheel slip for enhanced traction and moderately controlled drifts.

The signature kidney grilles feature black-painted double bars with the M logo that is said to reflect the style of the double-spoke wheels. The front fascia features large air intakes to direct cooling air, trapezoidal blades divert airflow through the wheel arches, and air curtains mounted in the outer air intakes guide air around the wheels. BMW says the M2 has 5 percent less drag than the standard 2 Series. Lift is reduced by 35 percent.

Along the side, the front fender gills are inspired by the BMW 3.0 CSL. Overall width has grown at the front (2.1 inches) and rear (3.1 inches) wheel arches to house the wider wheels. The brake calipers are finished in blue. Out back, the 2016 BMW M2 coupe features a decklid spoiler. The vertical reflectors on the rear fascia are inspired by the front blades. Additionally, the quad exhaust tips peak out from the aerodynamic rear diffuser.

2016 BMW M2 Coupe rear three quarter in motion 02 Photo 17/53   |   2016-BMW-M2-Coupe-rear-three-quarter-in-motion-02

Four exterior paint choices include Long Beach Blue Metallic, Alpine White, Black Sapphire Metallic, and Mineral Grey Metallic.

Inside, the BMW M2 features a 200-mph speedometer and 8,000-rpm tachometer (155-mph top speed and 7,000 rpm redline, respectively). You'll also find the requisite M logos throughout (tachometer, gear shift lever, door sill plates, M leather steering wheel), front sport seats finished in black Dakota leather with blue stitching, and M logos in the backrests. The front seats also feature adjustable bolsters. The driver side has a footrest and center console kneepad. Other interior details include open-pore carbon-fiber and Alcantara door inserts, parking brake boot, and shift lever boot.

2016 BMW M2 Coupe cabin 01 Photo 18/53   |   2016 BMW M2 Review - First Look
2016 BMW M2 Coupe front seats Photo 25/53   |   2016 BMW M2 Review - First Look

And of course the BMW M2 is available with BMW ConnectedDrive infotainment system. The optional ConnectedDrive Services features several track-related apps, including a GoPro app for video recording and the M Laptimer data-logging app from BMW GmbH.

Expect the 2016 BMW M2 coupe to be available in spring of 2016 with pricing released closer to its on-sale date.

2016 BMW M2 Coupe rear three quarter in motion 01 Photo 26/53   |   2016 BMW M2 Review - First Look
By Jason Udy
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