One last tuner for the M2 to end the year on a high note

The BMW M2 has arguably turned in one of the most impressive first-year runs of any car in recent years. That’s saying a lot considering that we’ve seen plenty of outstanding models make their debuts in 2016. But the M2 is on a level of its own, and that’s not even counting the number of aftermarket companies that have been seduced by its charms. So as we prepare to close the year on a high note, it’s only appropriate that we showcase one final tuning program for the M2. This one comes from Evolve Automotive, a U.K.-based tuner whose work on the M2 helps the coupe increase its output to 401 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque.

Evolve Automotive isn’t a particularly well-known tuner in the aftermarket circle. But you wouldn’t know it based on this program. The kit itself is comprised of new aerodynamic components and a well-spotted engine tune that brings out the necessary power that can compete with other tuners. The power numbers may not be up to what other aftermarket companies have done, but those torque figures are right where they should be, especially for a car like the M2 that can blitz off the line like nobody’s business.

The tuner even christened its kit as the “GTS,” an appropriate name for a program that can release GTS-level performance out of the M2. Too bad that BMW has yet to release its own M2 GTS, although if rumors of such a car are accurate, we can hope for the best that the coming year will see the car finally come to fruition.

For now though, Evolve Automotive’s “GTS” kit for the BMW M2 will have to do. Good thing is that the tuner did as good a job as it can to make the program live up to our expectations for what the GTS is going to turn out to be.

Continue after the jump to read more about the BMW M2 GTS by Evolve Automotive.

  • 2016 BMW M2 "GTS" by Evolve Automotive
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    2016
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Exterior

Off the bat, it’s important to note that Evolve’s program for the M2 has no ties with the BMW M4 GTS, even though they share the “GTS” name. Having said that, the exterior upgrades for the BMW M2 are still geared towards improving the sports coupe’s performance capabilities. Evolve addressed that by installing a new body kit that’s comprised of goodies like a new front lip with a lower adjustable section and a rear diffuser from RKP and an adjustable rear wing from Edison that’s impossible to miss, even if you do it on purpose. These three items do more than enhance the M2’s sporty looks; they help improve the car’s overall downforce, which is something that M2 owners would like to get out of this program.

Beyond the aero bits, Evolve also digs deep on the cosmetic enhancements with a new vented hood made from carbon and kevlar and a roof that are that’s also made from carbon. Both these components come by way of Edison. The last piece of business in the car’s exterior is a new set of wheels that look to be 18- or 19-inch 6Sixty Design Emblem forged wheels that Evolve wrapped in a set of Toyo R888 tires.

It’s not a comprehensive kit by any means, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a tuner that offers more than what Evolve has on the table.

What other tuners have done

We’ve seen so many tuners develop programs for the BMW M2 that a lot of these programs have somewhat blended into each other. There are a few notable exceptions though, one of which is Hamann. The German tuner knows its way around performance cars and its body kit for the M2 features the usual suspect of components. There’s a new splitter with extra inlets, side sills, a revised rear bumper, a small diffuser, and a trunk lid spoiler that comes with its own tiny winglets on each side. What sets the Hamann kit apart is the set of 20-inch chrome blue Anniversary Evo wheels that bring an extra layer of style to the look of the M2.

One other M2 tuner that presented a unique take on the sports coupe is Manhart Racing. Granted, the program it has – the MH2 630 – is reportedly a five-off creation but it also offers a different example on the aftermarket possibilities of the M2. The defining feature of the MH2 630’s exterior program may be its the Sunburst Gold Metallic body color, but the upgrades also includes similar carbon fiber goodies like a vented hood, a new front splitter, larger air vents, extended side skirts, and a trunk lid spoiler.

Check out how these two programs in particular measure up to Evolve Automotive’s own take on the BMW M2.

2016 BMW M2 by Hamann
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2016 BMW M2 by Manhart Racing
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Note: side-by-side photo of the BMW M2 by Hamann and the BMW M2 “MH2 630” by Manhart Racing.

Interior

2016 BMW M2 "GTS" by Evolve Automotive High Resolution Exterior
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By now, most of you have probably figured out that it’s really a hit-or-miss proposition when it comes to interior modifications for the BMW M2. Some tuners offer upgrades on this section of the sports coupe while others prefer to leave it as it is, presumably thinking that owners would more likely want to get BMW itself to work on the interior of their M2s.

It’s unclear what Evolve’s rationale was as it pertains the M2’s interior, but what’s clear is that the tuner left the coupe’s cabin alone as shown by the absence of any parts attributed to that section of the M2 in the tuner’s specifications list. It’s a little disappointing, but we’ve gotten used to it by now. Other tuners like G-Power and Speed-Buster didn’t bother going this route themselves while contemporaries like Hamann and AC Schnitzer kept their own upgrades muted with pieces like aluminum foot rests and pedals, as well as LED door entry illumination serving as the only upgrades of significance to the M2’s interior.

The long and short of it is that M2 owners looking to give the interiors of their cars some aftermarket love are better off approaching BMW directly since the German automaker already has a laundry list of parts and accessories that can be fitted for an extra cost. The M Sport Package, for example, comes with a host of new parts for the M2, including cosmetic and aero upgrades on both the coupe’s exterior and interior. There’s also the Executive Package, which is mostly made up of items like a heated steering wheel, rear view camera, rear park distance control, automatic high beams, active driving assistant, and speed limit info.

2016 BMW M2 Coupe With M Performance Parts High Resolution Interior
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Note: photo of BMW M2 Performance Pack

Now if M2 owners want to eschew all of that and go straight to a specific program available for the M2, BMW’s M Performance Pack comes with a grocery list of new accessories, beginning with a flat-bottomed racing wheel with paddle shifters and other controls in red-illuminated gauges in BMW’s familiar style. The M Performance steering wheel and center console also received Alcantara wraps while the shifter knob and its own surround got carbon fiber.

Drivetrain

2016 BMW M2 "GTS" by Evolve Automotive High Resolution Exterior
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With all the programs we’ve seen for the BMW M2 this year, it’s safe to say that this section is where most tuners put in the most work. That doesn’t come as a surprise since the M2’s power and performance credentials are stout enough by themselves. In standard configuration, the M2 is powered by a 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine that pumps out 365 horsepower and 343 pound-feet of torque, enough to propel it from 0 to 60 mph in as fast as 4.2 seconds, provided the engine is mated to an optional dual-clutch transmission, before peaking with a 155-mph top speed.

Evolve Automotive’s program for the M2’s turbocharged six-cylinder engine largely revolves around software upgrades made up of an ECU tune and modifications to the air intakes and exhausts. The result is an output of 401 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque, a healthy bump from the coupe’s stock figures. The tuner didn’t say how the power increase affects the coupe’s performance times, but taking all the upgrades together, an 0 to 60 mph time in around four seconds is achievable, as is a top speed of 180 mph, provided that the tuner can remove the car’s speed limiter.

What other tuners have done

The figures offered by Evolve Automotive aren’t eye-popping, but they do fall in the vicinity of what other tuners were able to get out from their own upgrades. The really interesting aspect of the M2’s engine upgrades is that tuners have shown us two different ways to go about it.

The first method is the software upgrade, which is what most aftermarket companies have done, including Evolve. There are no significant physical modifications involved in this kind of upgrade as tuners opted to work up the M2’s engine control unit before adding auxiliary parts to complete the modifications. These tuners listed in the table below did this form of modification in their own unique way, hence the different output numbers that fall within a short distance of one another.

Tuner Horsepower Torque 0 to 60 mph Top speed
Evolve Automotive 401 horsepower 450 pound-feet 4.0 seconds* 180 mph*
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*
Lightweight Performance 450 horsepower 420 pound-feet 4.0 seconds* 184 mph
Alpha-N Performance 450 horsepower 420 pound-feet 4.0 seconds* 180 mph*

Note: *estimate

The other method is the engine swap, which a handful of tuners have already done for the M2. Two that come to mind are Dahler Design & Technik and Manhart Racing. This particular method opens the M2 up to a new world of power and performance because it largely revolves around taking out the M2’s stock N55 engine and replacing it with the M4’s S55 engine. One the swap is done, the new engine then goes through a similar software upgrade process where, at least in Dahler’s case, the output increases to 531 horsepower and 538 pound-feet of torque, enough to propel the M2 to from 0 to 60 mph in less than four seconds to go with a top speed of 199 mph.

In Manhart’s case, its engine program for the M2 helps return the highest amount of power we’ve seen among tuners that we’ve covered on these pages. It followed a similar template as Dahler by dropping the M4’s N55 turbo six engine into the M2’s engine bay and then tweaking the software numbers to gain an output of 630 horsepower and an estimated 640 pound-feet of torque.

Tuner Horsepower Torque 0 to 60 mph Top speed
Dahler Design & Technik 531 horsepower 538 pound-feet less than 4.0 seconds* 199 mph
Manhart Racing 630 horsepower 640 pound-feet* less than 4.0 seconds* more than 200 mph*

As stout as Evolve Automotive’s program for the BMW M2 is, Dahler and Manhart Racing have shown all of us that there’s more to the M2’s potential if it somehow gets its hands on the M4’s engine. I know that’s not an ideal proposition for others who prefer everything to remain as-is, but for those who really want to get supercar-like performance out of the M2, an engine swap is probably the way to go.

Suspension and Brakes

2016 BMW M2 "GTS" by Evolve Automotive High Resolution Exterior
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The last remaining piece of Evolve’s tuning puzzle for the BMW M2 are the fully height-adjustable B16 coilover suspension kit from Bilstein that can lower the M2’s ride height anywhere from 1.18 inches to 1.97 inches. A few other tuners have also installed similar suspension upgrades to the M2, including AC Schnitzer which has the exact same RS coilovers on offer with compression and rebound setting and lowering from 1.18 to 1.57 inches. That said, the German tuner also has another kit available (the suspension spring kit) that’s capable of dropping the M2’s ride height by 0.98 to 1.18 inches at the front and 0.59 to 0.79 inches at the back.

Pricing

The list of upgrades that Evolve Automotive is offering for the BMW M2 is pretty comprehensive. Each of the components are actually priced individually in the tuner’s website. Interested customers can opt to order which piece they want before ringing up the total in the end. It’s safe to say though that anybody who’s serious about buying these parts from Evolve Automotive should have at least £10,000 at their disposal. That translates to about $12,400 based on current exchange rates. I mean, the carbon fiber hood and adjustable rear wing already adds up to £5,800 ($7,180) by themselves.

Competition

BMW M2 by Alpha-N Performance

2016 BMW M2 by Alpha-N Performance
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Alpha-N Performance doesn’t have an engine swap available for the BMW M2, but it did create its own program that showcased the potential of its EVOX multi-channel, chip-tuning box. With that at the center of the program and joined by a water-injection kit, the tuner was able to light up the M2’s 3.0-liter, inline six-cylinder engine to the tune of 450 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque, resulting in a 0-to-60 mph sprint time that hovers around four seconds and a top speed that can reach 180 mph.

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

BMW M2 by G-Power

2016 BMW M2 by G-Power
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G-Power’s been mentioned a handful of times already here but the tuner’s program for the M2 is notable in large part because it’s actually offering two different engine tuning modules: the Bi-Tronik 2 V1 or the Bi-Tronik 5 V1. Both modules bring out the exact same output of 410 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque, but it’s still worth mentioning because would-be customers are given a choice between the two. Either way, the upgrades are enough to help the M2 hit 124 mph from an idle position in 14.5 seconds on its way to a top speed of about 180 mph.

Find out more about the BMW M2 by G-Power here.

Conclusion

2016 BMW M2 "GTS" by Evolve Automotive High Resolution Exterior
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As we draw a close to 2016, it’s only appropriate that one of the most tuned cars of the year gets a final program this close to the new year. Evolve Automotive’s approach is similar to what other tuners have done so it’s not like it has something unique up it’s sleeve. But let’s still recognize the U.K.-based company for stepping up and making its own kit for a car that already has litters of it. That shows confidence in its capabilities and the results are no less impressive than any of the other programs we’ve seen for the BMW M2.

  • Leave it
    • Could be pricey
    • Definitely plenty of other options to choose from
    • Availability outside the U.K. could be a problem
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