• 2016 - 2018 BMW M2

The company’s smallest M car is loads of fun!

LISTEN 19:46

BMW needed a successor for the 1 Series Coupe, so it created the 2 Series in 2014. It took a couple of years, but BMW finally graced us with the BMW M2 To put it simply, BMW created a car with some of the 1M’s charm mixed in with the aggressiveness of the BMW M4. The exterior featured a menacing front fascia with large air inlets while the rear featured a sculpted fascia with deep character lines and vertical reflectors in the corners. The interior was driver-focused and littered with M-specific features like exclusive gauge needles, sport seats with adjustable side bolsters, M steering wheel, and an infotainment system that featured a GoPro and M Laptimer app. All told, it was the compact M coupe we’ve been waiting for since the 1M was discontinued in 2012.

It would be hard not to say that the M2 was essentially an M235i on steroids, but that doesn’t change the fact that the M2 is still tied to iconic models like the E30 M3 and the 2002 Turbo from 1973. Even though it’s hard to consider something smaller like the M2, when you could just as easily get an M4, it’s the power that comes with the little coupe that makes it worth its weight in gold. The 3.0-liter engine under the hood features M TwinPower Turbo technology and develops 365 horsepower and 343 pound-feet of torque. That’s enough to send Bimmers smallest M to 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds or 4.2 seconds with DCT.

Updated 05/12/2017: BMW dropped the official details on the facelift M2 sports car, with just a few weeks before its market launch in July 2017.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW M2.

  • 2016 - 2018 BMW M2
  • Year:
    2016- 2018
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-6
  • Transmission:
    six-speed manual
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    365 @ 6500 (Est.)
  • Torque @ RPM:
    343 @ 1400
  • Displacement:
    3.0 L
  • 0-60 time:
    4.4 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    155 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    51700
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • size:
  • Purpose:
  • body style:
  • Overall:
    8.5/10

Exterior

2016 - 2018 BMW M2 High Resolution Exterior
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2016 - 2018 BMW M2 High Resolution Exterior
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2016 - 2018 BMW M2 High Resolution Exterior
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2016 - 2018 BMW M2 High Resolution Exterior
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The M2 follows in the footsteps of the M4, featuring significantly more aggressive styling cues front and rear compared to the M235i.

Visually, the M2 follows in the footsteps of the M4, featuring significantly more aggressive styling cues front and rear compared to the M235i. Many details, including the bumpers, are based on those seen on the M3, M4, and M6 – a sign that BMW wants the M2 to be treated as a full-fledged M car – a status the coupe fully deserves.

Up front, everything except the bumper and the M badge on the twin-kidney grille is identical to the M235i. However, the revised bumper is enough to turn this car into a menacing coupe thanks to its massive air intakes, honeycomb grille, and sculpted aero add-ons. Though it’s not as sleek as the M4’s, the front fascia exudes sportiness through every pore and turns the M2 into a modern-day "Flying Brick."

For the uninitiated, the "Flying Brick" was a nickname attributed to the heavily modified E21 3 Series coupe BMW prepared for Group 5 racing in the 1970s. Not just because of its boxy design, but because it was damn fast and looked as if it could destroy anything in its path.

The M-specific upgrades continue around back, where the coupe gained a beefed-up bumper with with deeply sculpted horizontal lines that highlight its firm grip on the road. Unlike both the M235i and the M4, the M2’s bumper features vertical reflectors at the outer extremes, which mirror the trapezoidal design of the front apron. The rear bumper is finished off with a sporty diffuser that incorporates BMW M’s trademark quad-exhaust pipe arrangement.

2016 - 2018 BMW M2 High Resolution Exterior
- image 650525
The M2 looks like a proper M car from the sides as well

The M2 looks like a proper M car from the sides as well. The beefier front and rear bumpers make the coupe 2.1 and 3.1 inches wider, respectively, while the lowered suspension brings the two-door closer to the ground. The package is rounded off by a set of 19-inch aluminum forged rims in BMW M’s familiar double-spoke design.

Customers can pick between four exterior colors: Long Beach Blue Metallic, Alpine White, Black Sapphire Metallic, and Mineral Grey Metallic. Granted, most of these colors aren’t exactly inspiring, but it’s a minor issue given everything else the M2’s design has to offer.

As far as dimensions go, the M2 is 176.2 inches long and 73 inches wide. This makes it seven inches shorter than the M4, but less than an inch narrower than its bigger brother, which explains its more muscular stance. Also, the M2 is about the same size as the original E30 M3, which should please enthusiasts that have been complaining about the M4 growing too big in recent years.

2018 Model Year Facelift

2016 - 2018 BMW M2 High Resolution Exterior
- image 716189
2016 - 2018 BMW M2 High Resolution Exterior
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Much like most BMW facelifts, changes are rather minimal.

The M2 received its mid-cycle facelift, and first update for that matter, for the 2018 model year. However, much like most BMW facelifts, changes are rather minimal. To be more specific, it’s pretty difficult to set the two models apart, since the upgrade consists of only revised headlamps and taillights. Up front, the new LED lights are exactly the same as far as shape and size go, but the LED layout around the main bulbs is different, now covering only four sides of the hexagonal shape. The lights for the turn signals also appear to be different. Changes are more noticeable around back, where the reverse lights were moved at the bottom of the taillight. Also, the main brake light and the upper section of the cluster have a different shapes.

2017 BMW M2 Vs. 2018 BMW M2

2016 - 2018 BMW M2
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2016 - 2018 BMW M2
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2017 BMW M2 headlights 2017 BMW M2 taillights
2016 - 2018 BMW M2
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2016 - 2018 BMW M2
- image 716433
2018 BMW M2 headlights 2018 BMW M2 taillights

Exterior Dimensions

Vehicle Length 176.2 Inches
Vehicle Width 73 Inches
Width including mirrors 78.1 Inches
Vehicle Height 55.5 Inches
Wheelbase 106 Inches
Overhang front 32.1 Inches
Rear overhang 38.1 Inches
Ground clearance 4.8 Inches
Turning circle 38.4 Feet

Interior

2016 - 2018 BMW M2 High Resolution Interior
- image 650526

As with all BMW M models, the interior of the M2 is driver-oriented and packed with M-specific features. The standard seats have been replaced with M-badged sport units with adjustable side bolsters for optimum support on the race track. They come wrapped in black Dakota leather with blue contrast stitching, as does the steering wheel. Naturally, the dashboard’s design is identical to the rest of the 2 Series lineup, but enhanced by means of carbon-fiber inserts above the glove compartment and around the driver side A/C vents. The center console also has a large chunk of carbon-fiber, as well as blue stitching on the knee pad, and an M-spec gear shifter.

2016 - 2018 BMW M2 High Resolution Interior Drivetrain
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2016 - 2018 BMW M2 High Resolution Interior Drivetrain
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The interior of the M2 is driver-oriented and packed with M-specific features

The instrument cluster uses M2-specific dials and needles. A speedometer scale reaching 200 mph and a tachometer reading up to 8,000 rpm provide an indication of the car’s performance potential as soon as you climb aboard. Other highlights include M logos on the tachometer and door sill plates; an M steering wheel with shift paddles; and Alcantara on the door panel inserts, parking brake boot, and shift lever boot.

Tech-wise, the M2 comes with the cool GoPro app and the M Laptimer app. The GoPro app, which can be operated using the iDrive touch controller, allows drivers to film their laps at the race track. The footage will be displayed on the car’s Control Display. The M Laptimer records the car’s speed, longitudinal and lateral acceleration, engine’s speed, the gear engaged at any time, the steering angle, the accelerator position and fuel consumption, providing drivers with all the necessary info to improve their laps.

2018 Model Year Facelift

2016 - 2018 BMW M2 High Resolution Interior
- image 698735

The facelift doesn’t do much to change the cabin. Not that the interior needs a serious update, but it could have used more features in order to remain competitive. But it turns out that customers will have to settle for a revised dashboard with a new carbon-fiber trim insert in the middle and a sliding door for the front cup holders. The red dials for the speedo and rev counter were also revised, but that’s about it.

Interior Dimensions

Legroom front 41.5 Inches
Legroom 2nd row 33 Inches
Shoulder room front 54.4 Inches
Shoulder room rear 53.4 Inches
Headroom front 40.1 Inches
Maximum headroom 2nd row 36.5 Inches
Headroom front with Sunroof 38.4 Inches
Maximum headroom 2st row with sunroof 35.6 Inches

Drivetrain

2016 - 2018 BMW M2 High Resolution Drivetrain
- image 650563

The heart of any BMW M car is the performance and handling, and the M2 will certainly deliver. Power comes from a 3.0-liter inline-six using BMW’s Twin-Scroll turbo technology, high-precision direct injection, Valvetronic, and pistons and crank bearings borrowed from the M4. The unit cranks out 365 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 343 pound-feet of torque available from as low as 1,400 rpm, a 45-horsepower and 13-pound-feet improvement over the M235i.

Power comes from a 3.0-liter inline-six using BMW's Twin-Scroll turbo technology

The engine mates to either a standard six-speed manual or an optional dual-clutch automatic. Both versions will be equipped with BMW’s Active M differential that optimizes traction and enhances stability. The electronically controlled multiplate unit will keep the wheel spin in check, preventing the M2 from going off track on slippery road surfaces. The coupe rides on Michelin Pilot Sport tires, a wider track, and a lightweight, M Sport suspension. Stopping power comes from M compound brakes with 15-inch rotors and four-piston calipers up front and 14.5-inch rotors and two-piston units in the rear.

Besides the extra oomph, the M2 also benefits from a lighter curb weight, though BMW’s effort in this department is far from spectacular. The M2 tips the scales at 3,450 pounds with the manual transmission and 3,505 pounds with the DCT, which accounts for an 85-pound reduction over the M235i and a 106-pound reduction over the M4.

BMW claims the M2 can lap the Nurburgring Nordschleife in 7:58 minutes

The M2 is no Lotus...

Still, the coupe is impressively fast in a straight line, being able to hit 60 mph from a standing start in 4.2 seconds with the automatic and 4.4 seconds with the manual. These figures make it more than a half-second quicker than the M235i and just 0.3 second slower than the M4. Not bad! As usual, top speed is electronically limited at a very German 155 mph.

The M2 carries over for 2018 with the same turbocharged, 3.0-liter, inline-six rated at 365 horsepower and 343 pound-feet of torque.

If you’re nuts about figures, then you should know BMW claims the M2 can lap the Nurburgring Nordschleife in 7:58 minutes. This makes it only six seconds slower than the M4, but quicker than the previous-generation M3 or the Alfa Romeo 4C sports car. On the other hand, it’s on par with theSeat Leon ST Cupra 280, a hatchback motivated by only 276 horsepower.

Drivetrain Specifications

Engine type N55B30T0
Engine Technology M TwinPower Turbo technology: TwinScroll turbocharger, High Precision Injection, VALVETRONIC fully variable valve lift control, Double-VANOS variable camshaft timing
Cylinders 6
Valves per cylinder 4
Stroke 89.6 MM
Bore 84 MM
Displacement cm³ 2,979
Compression rate :1 10.2
Engine power 365 HP @ 6,500 RPM
Engine Torque 343 LB-FT @ 1,400-5,560 RPM
Comm. torque Overboost: 369 LB-FT
Top speed 155 MPH
0-60 mph 4.4 seconds manual/4.2 seconds DKG

Safety

2016 - 2018 BMW M2 High Resolution Interior
- image 716195

Like the rest of the 2 Series lineup, the M2 is equipped with many safety and driver assistance features, including Collision Warning, Pedestrian Warning with City Braking function, Lane Departure Warning, and Park Distance Control.

The coupe has airbags for driver and front passenger, side airbags for driver and front passenger, head airbags for front and rear seats, three-point seat belts on all seats, and belt latch tensioner and belt force limiter at the front seats.

Standard stability systems include ABS and M Dynamic Mode, Cornering Brake Control, Dynamic Brake Control, Dry Braking function, Fading Compensation, Start-Off Assistant, and Integrated Chassis Management.

Prices

2016 - 2018 BMW M2 High Resolution Exterior
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2016 - 2018 BMW M2 High Resolution Exterior
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Pricing for the M2 will start from $51,700, not including destination and handling. This sticker makes it a pretty affordable sports coupe, fetching only $7,000 more than the M235i and a whopping $14,000 less than the M4. Deliveries begin April 2016.

Competitors

Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG

2017 Mercedes-Benz CLA Unveiled High Resolution Exterior
- image 669641
2017 Mercedes-Benz CLA Unveiled High Resolution Exterior
- image 669642

The Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG might be muddled somewhere between the status of a coupe and a sedan, but there is no denying its performance credentials. Output from the AMG-tuned 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder is an impressive 355 horsepower helping the CLA45 AMG sprint from 0-to-60 in just 4.4 seconds. Priced at $48,500, the CLA45 AMG should still be a lot less than the BMW M2, while the extra set of doors makes the Mercedes a more practical everyday driver.

Read our full review of the Mercedes-Benz CLA45 AMG here.

Audi S3 Sedan

2017 - 2018 Audi S3 Sedan High Resolution Exterior
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2017 - 2018 Audi S3 Sedan High Resolution Exterior
- image 684969

Like the Mercedes, the Audi (being a sedan) isn’t a true competitor to the M2, but it does deliver a ride and handling that should be about what the new BMW could deliver. The S3’s 296-horsepower engine is less than what the M2 will offer, although the Audi makes up for its lack of power with a lower starting price of $41,100. If you need more power, wait for the RS3; if you need a two-door, check out the S3 Cabrio.

Read our full review of the Audi S3 Sedan here.

Porsche Cayman GT4

2016 Porsche Cayman GT4 High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 615253
2016 Porsche Cayman GT4 High Resolution Exterior
- image 615252

Yeah, I know, I’m pushing thing a bit too far with this one, but it’s not that far fetched considering the M4 is as quick as the Cayman GT4. It may sound hard to believe, but yes, the 385-horsepower Cayman isn’t quicker than the M2 from 0 to 60 mph, and that may have something to do with the Bimmer’s torquier engine. On the other hand, the Porsche achieves its 4.2-second sprint using a manual transmission, whereas the M2 hits the same benchmark with the dual-clutch automatic. Needless to say, a PDK would make the GT4 quicker. Still, being as quick as the M2 doesn’t make the Cayman GT4 a lesser sports car. The Porsche is arguably the better track-toy here due to its mid-engine layout, while the six-speed gearbox makes it a better driver’s car. It’s only drawback is the $84,600 sticker, which makes the M2 quite the bargain.

Find out more about the Porsche Cayman GT4 here.

Conclusion

2016 - 2018 BMW M2 High Resolution Exterior
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Though I’m a bit disappointed about BMW not being able to shed more weight off the M235i, I do consider the M2 a tremendous compact coupe that has everything to become a proper successor to the 1 Series M and yet another huge hit among BMW enthusiasts. On paper, the M2 is a more enjoyable track car than the more powerful and more expensive M4, which is basically what gearheads have been asking since BMW discontinued the short-lived 1M. Though it will be a little too pricey for the Average Joe, the M2 will give BMW even more credibility in the sport coupe realm and open the door toward even more potent versions of the brand’s smallest M-badged vehicle yet.

  • Leave it
    • Not as light as we had hoped
    • Not exactly affordable

Rendering

2016 - 2018 BMW M2 Exclusive Renderings
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Spy shots

September 3, 2014 - BMW M2 testing at Nurburgring

2016 - 2018 BMW M2 Exterior Spyshots
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2016 - 2018 BMW M2 Exterior Spyshots
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2016 - 2018 BMW M2 Exterior Spyshots
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June 5, 2014 - BMW M2 Looks Cool In White

2016 - 2018 BMW M2 Exterior Spyshots
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2016 - 2018 BMW M2 Exterior Spyshots
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2016 - 2018 BMW M2 Exterior Spyshots
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May 21, 2014 - BMW M2 Coupe testing at Nurburgring

2016 - 2018 BMW M2 Exterior Spyshots
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2016 - 2018 BMW M2 Exterior Spyshots
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2016 - 2018 BMW M2 Exterior Spyshots
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May 8, 2014 - First testing session

2016 - 2018 BMW M2 Exterior Spyshots
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2016 - 2018 BMW M2 Exterior Spyshots
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2016 - 2018 BMW M2 Exterior Spyshots
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Update History

Updated 01/13/2016: BMW brought the new 2017 M2 at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show and announced prices for the North American market.

Updated 12/29/2015: The guys over "ringzwei" created a very cool promo video for the new BMW M2. Hit "play" to watch the new M2 in action on a wet track.

Updated 10/20/2015: The new BMW M2 already went into production at the company’s plant in Leipzig Germany. At the same factory the company is also production cars like 2 Series Coupe, Convertible and Active Tourer and the 1 Series hatchback. BMW also dropped a 16 minutes long video with behind the scenes footage of the BMW M2 Coupé development.

Updated 10/15/2015: The new BMW M2 will be priced in Germany from €56,700 and on the British market from £44,070. While for the U.S. market we have no official details just yet, rumors suggest it will be priced from $51,000.

Updated 10/14/2015: BMW dropped the official details on the 2017 M2 sports coupe. The model will be available at authorized BMW centers starting spring of 2016. Prices will be announced at a later date.

Updated 10/12/2015: A new report indicates that the upcoming M2 should be powered by the same N55 engine used in the X4 M40i. It will deliver a total of 370 horsepower making the M2 a very competitive model in the compact sports car market. The model will offer an M Driver’s Package that will increase top speed to a total of 170 mph.

Updated 08/31/2015: The guys over cvdzijden caught the upcoming BMW M2 during its final testing sessions at Nurburgring.

Updated 07/29/2015: The guys over 2addicts managed to obtain some new details on the upcoming M2, and we have to admit we like what we hear. The model will be offered with standard s-x-speed manual and only four exterior colors will be offered. All cars will be offered exclusively with 19" wheels in black and, as expected, the interior will be stuffed with lots of cool gadgets. Deliveries will begin in March 2016.

Updated 05/17/2012: Today we have a pretty cool rendering for the upcoming BMW M2. We hope you like it!

Updated 04/07/2014: LeftLaneNews reports that the next BMW M2 will be powered by a twin-turbocharged variant of the 3.0-liter straight-six found under the hood of the M235i, and with the output increased to about 380 to 400 horsepower — 60 to 80 horsepower more than the M235i. This will allow the M2 to go from 0 to 60 mph in a little over four seconds. The M2 should be put on sale in 2016 at a price of about $55k.

Ciprian Florea
Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read full bio
About the author

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