Underneath the M2’s hood, you’ll find BMW’s punchy TwinPower Turbo 3.0-litre straight-six engine. It’s an uprated version of the M235i’s 3.0 N55 unit, but instead of 321bhp and 332lb ft of torque, the M2 makes 364bhp at 6500rpm and 343lb ft between 1400 and 5560rpm, with an extra 26lb ft available with an overboost function.
The M2 will launch from 0-62mph in 4.5sec with the six-speed manual, and 4.3sec with the optional seven-speed DCT automatic with launch control switched on.
Top speed is limited to 155mph as standard, but buyers can opt for an M Driver’s Package which raises the car’s top speed to 168mph.
The dry-sump lubricated six-speed manual that you get as standard in the M2 (but that 95 per cent of buyers will likely ditch in favour of the slick DCT) features ‘an engagement speed control function’ that blips the throttle for you on the downshifts to make shifting smoother and to also help with high speed stability when changing gears. (You’ll also look like you really know what you’re doing in everyday driving).
Inspired by the M3 and M4 models, M2 engineers used aluminium extensively in the front and rear axles to reduce weight. The control arms, wheel carriers, axle subframes and stiffening plate on the front axle, for example, weigh 5kg less than if steel had been used. The rear axle is also 3kg lighter, and the 19-inch forged alloys (using Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres) reduce unsprung mass.
The M2’s weight figure of 1495kg (manual) and 1520kg (auto) gives this car a maximum power-to-weight ratio of 243bhp per tonne. By comparison, the 362bhp/1560kg BMW i8 musters 232bhp/tonne.
Behind those 19-inch forged alloys sit 380mm discs at the front (gripped by four-piston callipers) and 370mm discs at the rear (gripped by two-piston callipers). The brake disc hub itself is made from aluminium, which again helps trim the fat.
Despite better cooling, the M2’s airflow design at the front, sides and rear mean that the new car has a five per cent reduction in drag compared with the 2-series coupe. High-speed lift has also been reduced by 35 per cent thanks to the M2’s aero kit, which includes wider front and rear wings (to accommodate the car’s wider, M3/M4-like track), ‘Air Curtains’ in the outer air intakes at the front, a rear spoiler and an integrated rear diffuser.
BMW claims that the new M2 will lap the Nürburgring Nordschleife in 07min 58sec. That would make the M2 as fast around the Green Hell as a Seat Leon Cupra wagon, itself a record-breaking car.
For context, the M2’s claimed time is 10 seconds quicker than the previous generation Audi RS4, which has 414bhp.
Like the new Ford Mustang’s line-lock system, the new M2 will also help you burn rubber by locking the front wheels while you give the accelerator pedal some attention.
The M2’s diff is an electronically-controlled multi-plate unit that can lock from between zero and 100 per cent depending on what the car’s DSC systems demand of it, based on steering lock, throttle and braking pressure and yaw rate. Put simply, then, if you want to drift the hell out of your M2, it will allow and will even help you to do so.
Bearing in mind that the new M2 will cost from £44,070 when it arrives in the UK next April, here’s a scenario for you to consider: if I were to hand you that exact amount of money, no questions asked, would you go to your nearest BMW dealer and put the cash down on an M2, or would you opt for something completely different?