After years in the making, BMW has removed the covers from the car which tops the 2-Series lineup, the M2 Coupe. After the range was previously topped by the critically-acclaimed M235i, the 2-Series coupe has finally received the full M-Division treatment. This car is also (despite being called a 2-Series instead of 1-Series) the successor to the much-loved 1-Series M Coupe, considered by many to be one of the greatest BMWs of the 21st century. To say the least, this car has some big shoes to fill. Luckily, it seems more than ready to step up to the plate.
The M2 is powered by BMW's turbocharged, 3-liter straight six engine, capable here of 364 horsepower and 343 lb ft of torque. An added overboost function provides an extra 25 lb ft for short durations too, because who doesn't want more torque? The engine's power is sent to the rear wheels (as it should be) through one of two transmission choices. Indeed, a six-speed manual is offered alongside bimmer's usual seven-speed dual clutch gearbox, providing customers a level of variety you don't see much of anymore. The 0-60 sprint is tackled in 4.3 seconds for the car with paddle shifters, with a slightly slower 4.5 second time for the car with three pedals. In typical BMW fashion, the M2's top speed is electronically limited to 155 miles per hour.
The M2's straight-line speed only tells a fraction of its story, though. This isn't designed to be a car to take to the drag strip on the weekends, it's more for the driver who wants to push themselves to the limits on the track while having a hell of a good time. It's designed to reward the driver for precision driving, while also being eager for a bit of sideways action. The newest fast bimmer has received plenty of help from its bigger brother, the M4 Coupe, to make this possible. This car's front and rear axles, brakes, and a handful of engine components including the pistons have been donated from BMW's wonderfully-drifty sports car, which should do well to put a smile on driver's faces.
Another feature aiding the M2's driver-pleasing ethos is its weight, or rather, lack of it. If you somehow weren't already convinced by the M235i's agility, the full-M version has managed to lose another 78 lbs. That, in combination with a more aerodynamic (and incredibly pretty) body, means the M2 will have no problem whatsoever transitioning from one difficult corner to the next. The car's even capable of 33 miles per gallon; what more could you ask for?
The M2 is set to go on sale early next year, and, to add to the already-huge list of good news, it's going to cost less than $60,000! In a year where so many incredible and laws-of-physics-challenging cars have been revealed, the range-topping 2-Series manages to be one of the best announcements yet. Although it has just been revealed and no journalists have yet had the pleasure of driving it, allow me to make a prediction: it'll be damn good.