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BMW M2 in the driving report: compact coupe on the racetrack

Uwe Fischer
New BMW M2 (2016) in the driving report
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B Before we press the start button, a short excursion into the BMW nomenclature. We are sitting in the M2 Coupé, from April at the dealer, from 56,700 euros expensive. The predecessor from 2011 was called the 1er M Coupé, Coupé was logical, only M1 the two-door was not allowed to be called, otherwise it would have blessed the mid-engine M1 in terms of name. Either way, the 340 hp thing went like hell. Compact, broad-gauge, biturbo-potent. Pushing cheekily, with a firm handshake on the steering wheel and the feeling of preferring to drive everything across, he roared to hero status. Unfortunately it was sold out way too early. But there are supplies: For all boys and men for whom the current M235i is too harmless, especially with all-wheel drive as the M235ix. It still has 326 hp and the great turbo in-line six, but it still doesn't really belong to the M family, but mainly has the M in its name. Enough name research, get on with the action.

Live on the Laguna Seca race track, near Monterey, California. Latched into non-slip sports seats, with a firm grip on the steering wheel and 370 hp on the rear axle. Directions to Corkscrew Corner. It's a long way uphill before the decisive summit comes. So: full throttle. The three-liter presses as low as 465 Newton meters from 1,400 rpm. Unlike its predecessor - and the next larger M3 /M4 sibling - only a turbo with twin scroll blows here. However, when there is a full 500 Newton meters in overboost and the row six roars wonderfully towards 7,000 /min and then into the governor, no cock crows for it.

BMW M2: Magnificent turbo row six

Bavarian engine works. Again. Get started at the bottom, push hard through the middle and greedily turn out the top. Responsiveness? Well it's a turbo. So what? As soon as the charger blows properly, it goes off. And first the sound! Nix composer. Burners! Four-cylinder with sound file? Row six with exhaust flap! Of course, they may have thought about such a fully inflated two-liter four-cylinder at BMW, but they rejected the idea. Why? Too expensive, better to wear the tried and tested six-cylinder. Thank you, controller, nice gesture.

The distance to the 326 PS of the somewhat more pious M235i is maintained and we can easily get the few extra grams of CO2 back in with anticipatory driving, we promise. But not now, it's going to the corkscrew. To approach blind, simply aim for the free-standing tree somewhere behind anddrop. Let's go into the depths. Left, right, the car becomes light, then heavy. Us too, somewhere down in the pit of our stomach. Uaaahh. You can train this passage on the Playstation as often as you want, the first time you dive in, you get big eyes and ventricular fibrillation.

Uwe Fischer
And the auxiliary electronics ensure that over-motivated M2-kicks are not constantly with the masculine-shaped M2-spoilers and - Furrow sills through the ditches of the Republic.

The axles of the BMW M2 come from the M3

and the M2 ? Stay cool. With its non-adaptive, yet excellently tuned dampers, it is supported on the wide front and rear axles of the M3 /M4 plus backlash-free ball joints and stiffer connections. For example on the rear axle carrier, which is screwed to the body without elastic rubber elements. Parts made of aluminum or steel framework also reduce the weight, especially that of the unsprung masses. In addition, there is the racing-inspired kinematics plus tires: exclusive Michelin Pilot Super Sport with mixed tires 19 inches, front 245, rear 265/35.

The tires interlock with the asphalt, only go into sliding friction if more intensively requested above. Well, even faster without electronics if you step on the gas carelessly. If you know, you will feel the effect of the active M differential when braking and, above all, accelerating out. It works mechanically with 2,500 Nm locking torque within 150 milliseconds and is electronically controlled, i.e. it receives data on the accelerator pedal position, steering angle, yaw rate and so on.

The whole thing is supposed to stabilize braking maneuvers, ensure traction and avoid understeering at the entrance to a curve. That works. Understeer is not an issue if the speed and steering angle are right. Oversteer is more likely, with deactivated DSC the M2 is brushed on sport, pushes noticeably with the 370 hp on the rear axle when the gas is accordingly. By the way, more power is not possible politically, otherwise the M3 /M4 would be angry. After all, they donate their pistons and the crankshaft main bearings. And with it all even with strong accelerationto get to the oil, there is a special tub including a pump that keeps the circuit stable even during extreme maneuvers.

Uwe Fischer
Row six with exhaust flap!

Sensitive steering and steady brake

Hupps, the braking point almost missed due to all the chatter. As usual, the M Coupé decelerates with compound brakes, which has nothing to do with ceramics, but means aluminum pot (less unsprung mass) plus steel ring. The pressure point and effect are and will remain on our laps on the slopes and later on the road.

Turning in. The electromechanical steering offers two characteristics, Comfort and Sport. This results in intensive feedback without drive influences (of course ...) and the appropriate servo support. Not cozy, not tough, always of a firm and binding character. Similar to the suspension, which can cope equally well with road and slope. Excursions on country roads work without any problems, the 1.5-ton truck cannot be disturbed too much, even by poor surfaces.
And the auxiliary electronics ensure that over-motivated M2 pedestrians do not constantly hit the masculine-shaped M2 spoilers and - Furrow sills through the ditches of the Republic. Which would somehow fit the reputation of the broad-gauge boy who continues the flame of the 2002 Turbo and the 1 Series M Coupé. For a surcharge the M2 can even run 270, practical for motorway athletes.

Competent electronics included

Back to the electronic stability program DSC. With full commitment, dutifully and efficiently, which is beneficial on soaking wet days, you can safely set off towards the limit in the extra MDM (M Dynamic Mode) position. Now, if desired, the device can come out gently with the rear, showing what would be possible. Without him suddenly pulling the covers off. No BMW without clever infotainment, the M2 is no exception. For example, it offers an app that can be used to control the Go Pro via I Drive in order to document hero data. Or a lap timer app that records all driving data (speed, lateral acceleration and so on) on the route, as well as by email and Facebook to the network communitycan pass on.

Uwe Fischer
Live on the Laguna Seca race track, near Monterey in California.

Sensitive, tight and fast

But back to the analogue, where the M almost drives us crazy, trust in the grows round after round 1.5 ton truck, we synchronize with its self-steering behavior and the power delivery of the engine. The knuckle-cracking grip of the 1 Series M Coupé is a thing of the past, in contrast to this, the M2 no longer beats around, but offers a skilful mix of sensitivity and toughness. That makes it extremely fast, because the wheels can only transmit power when they are on the ground.
And with that on the slopes: in the fast links with the inner wheels rub over the curbs and at the apex (conveniently marked in red) accelerate. It takes a moment, but at some point you get the hang of it, skilfully use the pact of turbo pressure, differential lock and the grip of the Michelins.

Manual transmission is all well and good, DKG is faster. And burnt

Oh yes, there would also be manual transmission. All well and good, but don't try to accelerate faster with it than with the seven-speed double clutch. Not even BMW can do that. 4.5 to 4.3 seconds to 100. And even if the switch is double-declutching when downshifting, it cannot reach the seamless smoothness and lightning-fast gear changes of the DKG. DKG even anticipates shift requests, shifts the gear preventively, only needs to close the clutch when pulling on the paddle. It doesn't get any faster. Bam Bam bam. Perfect.

Back in the paddock. Here DKG even helps with burnout, the popular tire smoking. The corresponding function is stored in the DKG as well as slow crawling or opening the clutch when there is a threat of oversteer. Sounds good right? So guys, look forward to the M2 Coupé.


It will be tough for the competition . Sure, the M2 Coupé doesn't look as balanced as a Porsche 718 with a mid-engine and doesn't have the all-wheel drive of the M235iX or Mercedes A45 AMG. But: it has a six-cylinder plusRear-wheel drive and an elaborate, skillfully mixed chassis with tons of M3 genes. So goes M. 56,700 euros are not little for the compact athlete. But definitely not too much.


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