Bimmer’s popular baby M sports coupe gets another tuning kit

If there was an award for the favorite car among aftermarket tuners for the year, the BMW M2 makes a strong case. You might even say it makes the best case. This year alone, a number of the world’s best aftermarket companies have developed programs for the baby M sports coupe, including AC Schnitzer, G-Power, and Alpha-N Performance, among others. Now you can add Hamann to that list, and considering the tuner’s expertise in building kits for a wide variety of performance models, picking which M2 program is the best of them all just got a lot harder. For its part, Hamann’s new kit for the M2 follows the traditional blueprint of a Hamann program. It’s got a flashy exterior that’s characterized by the new wheels. It’s got technical upgrades to help the car in top working condition. Best of all, it’s got an engine upgrade that boasts an increase in output to 414 horsepower and 391 pound-feet of torque.

From a quantity and quality standpoint, Hamann’s program fits into what most would consider a complete tuning kit. There are no interior upgrades, but for the most part, the important items were worked on to the fullest extent in which they can be worked on without compromising the natural characteristics of the BMW M2. The numbers are there for this kit.

That said, Hamann isn’t the only tuner to work on the BMW M2 this year, let alone in the past month. AC Schnitzer started offering its own version of a tuning kit in late October, and that doesn’t even count the myriad of others that have released their own takes earlier this year. All these programs prove that the M2 tuning scene is as competitive as any other performance car in the market today, and the entry of Hamann into this aftermarket donnybrook isn’t going to help prospective customers decide on which tuning kit they prefer to get.

Continue after the jump to read more about the BMW M2 by Hamann.

Exterior

2016 BMW M2 by Hamann High Resolution Exterior
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The exterior upgrades are what you’d expect to get from a tuner like Hamann. The body kit itself is made up of a few significant parts and together, they create a more sporting look for the M2 that doesn’t border on the ridiculous. Up front, there’s a new splitter with extra inlets. Side sills are also part of the aerodynamic kit, as are the revised rear bumper, the small diffuser, and the trunk lid spoiler that actually comes with tiny winglets on each side — a discreet yet effective addition to the overall makeup of the spoiler. Rounding out Hamann’s exterior upgrade list is a new set of 20-inch chrome blue Anniversary Evo wheels. The kit isn’t too different from what AC Schnitzer is offering; it’s just that AC Schnitzer added a few more bits to its own program, including carbon front side wings, a carbon rear wing, a rear roof spoiler, and some cosmetic enhancements in the form of carbon mirror covers and a rear skirt protection film.

By contrast, other tuners like G-Power and Speed-Buster opted for no distinctive exterior upgrades, although it must be noted that G-Power does have a set of 20-inch Hurricane RR forged alloy wheels on offer whereas Speed-Buster didn’t touch this section at all, opting instead to focus its attention on the engine upgrades.

2016 BMW M2 by Hamann High Resolution Exterior
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2016 BMW M2 by AC Schnitzer
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Interior

2016 BMW M2 by Hamann High Resolution Interior
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Hamann’s press release for this specific program did not mention any interior upgrades, but a quick peek into the tuner’s website revealed that there are quite a few of them, even if they’re not really that important. If you fancy them, the German tuner is offering aluminum foot rests and pedals, and LED door entry illumination. Evidently, Hamann isn’t the only tuner to prefer this kind of approach for the M2’s cabin. AC Schnitzer is also offering the aluminum pedal set and footrest and while it doesn’t offer the LED door entry illumination, it does make up for it with a key holder, a handbrake handle, and velour floor mats!

In some ways, these offerings from Hamann and, by extension, AC Schnitzer, are the most that you’re going to get from aftermarket tuners. Others like G-Power and Speed-Buster didn’t even bother going this route themselves. That’s probably due to the fact that if customers are looking for interior upgrades, the best place to go is BMW itself and its Individual personalization program.

Drivetrain

Most tuners who have developed programs for the 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six engine of the BMW M2 have achieved similar power results in the neighborhood of 420 horsepower. It’s not a bad number, but it’s also not something that’s going to blow customers away. The numbers aren’t even high enough to separate themselves from the rumored “hot” version of the M2 that’s been tipped to arrive sometime in 2017 with about 410 horsepower on tap. I’m saying these things because Hamann’s own program also nets that same 420-horsepower number, something the tuner accomplished by putting in a few tweaks to the M2’s ignition mapping. The exact output is 420 horsepower and 391 pound-feet of torque, which, according to Hamann, allows the M2 to sprint from 0 to 62 mph in 4.2 seconds.

2016 BMW M2 by Hamann High Resolution Exterior
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The exact output is 420 horsepower and 391 pound-feet of torque, which, according to Hamann, allows the M2 to sprint from 0 to 62 mph in 4.2 seconds

By comparison, AC Schnitzer’s own engine upgrade for the M2 is also of the software variety and nets exactly the same 420-horsepower output. For its part, G-Power was actually able to get less power compared to Hamann and AC Schnitzer. Surprisingly, G-Power’s Bi-Tronik 2 V1 and Bi-Tronik 5 V1 only brings out 410 horsepower. If anything, Speed-Buster got the most out of the M2’s engine, even though it was only able to squeeze out a few more extra ponies thanks in part to its multi-channel Chiptuning-Box that brings out 426 horsepower and 457 pound-feet of torque.

That said, there are some exceptions here. Dahler Design & Technik, for instance, is offering a multi-level upgrade that peaks at 450 horsepower and 487 pound-feet of torque. From there, the Swiss tuner is also offering an actual engine swap by taking out the M2’s N55 engine and replacing it with the M4’s meatier S55 engine. That whole process comes with a new output of 531 horsepower and 538 pound-feet of torque. Using a similar engine-swap approach, Manhart Racing also modified the sports coupe’s turbochargers and added an ECU tune of its own on the way to getting a ridiculous 630 horsepower for the M2.

The lesson here is that a tuner like Hamann is offering a more conservative engine upgrade for the BMW M2, something that some owners would likely gravitate to. But there are other ways to get more power out of the sports coupe and at least two tuners have done it by actually changing the car’s engine.

Check out the table to see what kind of power gains are available for the BMW M2 depending on the tuner.

Tuner Horsepower Torque 0 to 60 mph Top speed
Hamann 420 horsepower 391 pound-feet 4.2 seconds* 180 mph**
AC Schnitzer 420 horsepower not mentioned 4.2 seconds 180 mph**
G-Power 410 horsepower 420 pound-feet 4.2 seconds** 180 mph**
Speed-Buster 426 horsepower 457 pound-feet 4.0 seconds** 180 mph**
Dahler Design & Technik (engine swap) 531 horsepower 538 pound-feet less than four seconds* 199 mph
Manhart Racing (engine swap) 630 horsepower 640 pound-feet** under four seconds** 205 mph**

Pricing

Hamann is famously coy on the pricing of its programs. In fact, if you go to its website and click the list of tuning items available for the BMW M2, you’re going to be greeted with the two words that are about as common to tuners as the performance increases they provide: Price Request.

So in that vein, our perpetual suggestion of going directly to the tuner to get a proper price quote applies here. It is worth noting though that there are some tuners, most notably G-Power, who have no problem sharing the financial damages attached to their programs. So in lieu of any specific mentions from Hamann, consider the €19,200 ($20,700) total amount of G-Power’s tuning kit for the M2 as a benchmark of sorts.

Competition

BMW M2 by G-Power

2016 BMW M2 by G-Power
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This tuning program was already mentioned above, but there are some details about it that were left for this section. As I’ve mentioned, G-Power’s kit for the M2 revolves around two of its own tuning modules: the Bi-Tronik 2 V1 and the Bi-Tronik 5 V1. Both modules offer similar net results, which is to say that owners getting either one of them should expect to get 410 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque out of their M2s. It’s lower than most upgrades but it is good enough to help the M2 sprint from 0 to 124 mph in just 14.5 seconds to go with a top speed in the vicinity of 180 mph.

Read more about the BMW M2 by G-Power here.

BMW M2 by Alpha-N Performance

2016 BMW M2 by Alpha-N Performance
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This one wasn’t mentioned above so it might be best to pay close to attention to what Alpha-N Performance is offering for the M2. The tuner is actually offering one of the most extensive upgrades for the sports coupe, and the highlight of all that work is a software upgrade that nets an output of 450 horsepower and around 420 pound-feet of torque. Yes, Alpha-N managed to coax more than 420 ponies out of the M2’s 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six engine. That says a lot considering that the other tuners on this list - Hamann, AC Schnitzel, and G-Power - are far more recognized in the tuning circles.

Find out more about the BMW M2 by Alpha-N Performance here.

Conclusion

2016 BMW M2 by Hamann High Resolution Exterior
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Given its name and status in the aftermarket industry, there is a standard that comes with being Hamann. On some fronts, the tuner lives up to these standards with this program. The aero kit is professionally made, and the wheels look really spiffy. Even the engine upgrade, while not mind-blowing, provides the increased power that customers will notice and appreciate. The only downside to this kit is that Hamann didn’t do more with it when there’s clearly potential for it. I don’t know if it’s a case of the tuner playing it safe or it’s something else; but I don’t think that the German tuner tapped into the full potential of the program.

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