When good isn’t good enough, the baby M just got even better

The BMW M2 may be regarded as the baby of BMW’s M family, but the sports coupe has earned a reputation for being a bona fide giant slayer. No less than Jeremy Clarkson called the M2 his favorite M car ever, glowing words from the notoriously complement-allergic host of The Grand Tour. The M2 has more than just carved a niche of its own; it’s occupying other segments too. And that’s with just a standard model.

Imagine then if a tuner got its hands on a BMW M2 and made some improvements on the car. Lightweight Performance did just that with its new “LW M2” kit, a program that features modifications on every important section of the car, including its 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder engine that has been retuned to produce 450 horsepower, a sharp increase from the turbo six’s standard output of 361 horses. The LW M2 program also has an aero kit, a dressed-up interior, and suspension and brake upgrades that fully complement the modifications made to the engine. Oh, and there’s also a new set of wheels.

All together, the upgrades help give the M2 a sportier look and feel to it, as if the car needed more of those things when it’s already brimming with the kind of bravado that has earned it a reputation for being one of the best-driving sports coupes in the market.

Continue after the jump to read the full review.

  • 2016 BMW M2 "LW M2" By Lightweight Performance
  • Year:
    2016
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-6
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    450
  • Torque @ RPM:
    420
  • Displacement:
    3.0 L
  • Top Speed:
    184 mph
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2016 BMW M2 "LW M2" By Lightweight Performance High Resolution Exterior
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2016 BMW M2 "LW M2" By Lightweight Performance High Resolution Exterior
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2016 BMW M2 "LW M2" By Lightweight Performance High Resolution Exterior
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The differences between a stock BMW M2 and a Lightweight Performance-tuned M2 are visually evident and I’m not just talking about the decorative livery spread throughout the car’s body. The kidney grilles, for example, have been blacked out. Black stripes that extend past the grille, connecting the kidneys with the headlights and side air intakes. On the aerodynamic front, the tuner put in the time, giving the M2 a host of new components, including a modified front bumper that comes with blacked-out carbon fiber parts and a massive spoiler at the back that not gives the M2 a more aggressive look, but also helps improve the sports car’s stability. Rounding out the exterior upgrades is a new set of 19-inch forged LW-wheels that are wrapped in 265/30-19 Michelin Pilot Sport Cup2 tires.

Interior

2016 BMW M2 "LW M2" By Lightweight Performance High Resolution Interior
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There aren’t that many upgrades to the interior, but Lightweight Performance made sure to give the cabin a fresh look through the new carbon performance seats wrapped in Alcantara fabric. Carbon interior panels, new velour floor mats, and an aluminum pedal set complete the modifications to the M2’s cabin.

Drivetrain

2016 BMW M2 "LW M2" By Lightweight Performance High Resolution Drivetrain
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Having new aero components doesn’t really make a Lightweight Performance-tuned BMW M2 stand out compared to a standard version. But all that changes when you combine the aero bits with a unique engine upgrade that tacks on extra power from the coupe’s 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder. That’s precisely what the tuner did when it installed a modified air intake and added 300-cell downpipes. All together, Lightweight was able to increase the turbo six’s output from the standard 361 horses to a stout 450 horsepower. No torque numbers were released, but expect it to also increase, potentially to about 420 pound-feet of torque. The tuner did say that with its engine upgrade in tow, the M2 would be capable of hitting a top speed of 184 mph.

Suspension and Brakes

2016 BMW M2 "LW M2" By Lightweight Performance High Resolution Exterior
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To accommodate the extra power added by the engine upgrade, Lightweight Performance also included a Clubsport suspension kit that the tuner sourced from Bilstein and a GT brake system with 13-inch front and rear brake discs from Brembo.

Pricing

Lightweight Performance made no mention of the program’s price, so it’s best if interested customers contact the tuner directly to get a proper price quote.

Competition

BMW M2 “MH2 630” by Manhart Racing

2016 BMW M2 by Manhart Racing
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The tuning versatility of the BMW M2 was on full display when Manhart Racing presented its “MH2 630” program. In addition to the eye-catching paint job, the program also featured an actual engine swap, which saw the M2’s 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder N55 engine get replaced with the BMW M4’s S55 twin-turbo six. Once the swap was done, the German tuner performed some extra tweaks to the new engine, bringing the car’s overall output to 630 horsepower, a staggering increase from the M2’s standard output of 365 horses, not to mention the M4’s N55 engine, which peaks at 431 ponies. Manhart Racing didn’t announce the torque number post engine swap, but expect it to be close to about 600 pound-feet of torque.

Read more about the BMW M2 “MH2 630” by Manhart Racing here.

BMW M2 by Alpha-N Performance

2016 BMW M2 By Alpha-N Performance High Resolution Exterior
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No engine swaps took place with Alpha-N Performance, but the tuner did present a kit that included its very own EVOX Multi-channel, Chip-tuning Box to go with a water-injection kit. With everything in place, the tuner was able to get the M2’s output up to 480 horsepower, helping the sports coupe hit 60 mph in under four seconds to go with a top speed in the ranks of 180 mph.

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

Conclusion

2016 BMW M2 "LW M2" By Lightweight Performance High Resolution Exterior
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Lightweight is far from a household name in the aftermarket tuning scene but you have to give credit to these guys for presenting a program that’s actually worth the attention of BMW M2 owners. The aero kit is a nice addition, even though the program would probably would be better off without the liveries. The upgrades to the interior, suspension, and most notably, the engine are all worth checking out because they do add up to bring a new level of style and performance to the M Division’s entry-level sports coupe.

  • Leave it
    • * Not as much power as other programs
    • * Questions on availability
    • * Other options available
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