Since the high performance variant of the 2-Series, the M2, was confirmed to be entering production, it has been called a lot of things: heir to the 1M Coupe; the first real-deal M car in many years; a true driver’s car. After spending a week in one, I can confirm every description is accurate, and then some.
The M235i released earlier was a preview of sorts to what the M2 might eventually resemble, but the latter is much more aggressive and there should be no event where the two might ever be confused for one another. In fact, it’s closer to being a baby M4 with a very similar front fascia featuring the bigger sculpted front air intakes and a sleeker grille.
Other differences include wider, flared wheel arches and a redesigned rear bumper cover housing a built-in blacked-out lower rear diffuser and integrated quad tailpipes. The wheels also get an upgrade in a major way – they’re forged with a black chrome finish, measuring 19-inches in diameter and nine inches width up front and an impressive 10 inches out back.
The interior is about the same you’d find in any other M vehicle, albeit a little more scaled back in accordance with the model’s lower position in the pecking order. For example, there is loads of a carbon-fibre-wrap material covering various trim pieces rather than the real deal you might find in say an M6. No head-up display, either.
Once you fire up the motor, you won’t remember, or care, how the inside looks. Side note: a friend of mine who owns an M4 came along for a ride and pointed out a neat detail of how the start button is angled towards the driver, which reinforces the driver-focused nature of the car.
The 365-horsepower M TwinPower bi-turbo V6 roars to life sending a fierce cackle surging through the sport exhaust. The best way to articulate in one syllable how the M2 feels behind the wheel is raw. From the sound it makes throughout the entire rpm range to how the perfect seating position makes you believe you’re in a fighter jet.
While a six-speed manual gearbox is standard, my press tester had the seven-speed M Double Clutch Transmission (DCT). I normally prefer a stick shift, but the DCT and its lightning quick shifts and rev matching was almost enough to make me switch sides. Activating Sport mode will cause gears to be held longer when you’re attacking a windy road, not to mention make the engine note even more glorious.