Swiss tuner fills the M2 Convertible void that BMW didn’t want to

The BMW M2 is arguably one of BMW’s most important releases in recent years. It’s been universally well-received since it made its debut earlier this year and BMW itself acknowledges the M2 as the legitimate flagship model of the entire M division. So with all the plaudits it has received, it’s a little strange that BMW hasn’t maximized the M2’s potential the way it should. There isn’t even an M2 Convertible, a model that Bimmer has indicated it has no plans of developing anytime soon. Fortunately, the aftermarket world is a creative lot and in the absence of action from automakers, it’s more than willing to step up and fill that void. Feast your eyes then on this beauty, the BMW M2 Convertible from Swiss tuner Dähler Design & Technik GmbH.

Okay, so it’s not technically a BMW M2 Convertible because that model doesn’t exist. It’s actually a 2 Series Convertible that was on the receiving end of some nifty tuning upgrades, helping it attain power levels that put it in the vicinity of the M2. Not only that, the new performance-bred convertible was also on the receiving end of an aerodynamic body kit that replicates the sporty look of the actual M2. If imitation really is the sincerest form of flattery, then this conversation is a legitimate apple to the eyes.

The M2 Convertible may not exist in real life, but give credit where credit is due; Dähler did as good a job as a tuner is capable of because the M2 Convertible really does look like an M2 at heart. It’s not in the technical sense, but with an aggressive look that mirrors that of the real M2 and performance figures that are up to the coupe’s paces, it’s not hard to wonder why this project was christened as the M2 Convertible that BMW should have built in the first place.

Continue after the jump to read more about the BMW M2 Convertible by Dähler Design & Technik GmbH.

  • 2017 BMW M2 Convertible by Dähler Design & Technik GmbH
  • Year:
    2017
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Exterior

Before anything, it’s important that we get to see what a standard BMW 2 Series Convertible looks like. So here it is.

2015 BMW 2 Series Convertible Exterior
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Note: photo of BMW 2 Series Convertible

As you can see, the 2 Series Convertible comes with a relatively straightforward design. It’s not all that different with the coupe version too as it also features the flowing front grille and the sloping hood. The body lines on the side run the length of the car, starting from the just before the front doors before passing through the two front doors and settling on the taillights. The rear end is no different too from the 2 Series Coupe, although the trunk lid does have minor changes, including a flatter body panel that was likely put in place to accommodate the retractable roof.

It’s important to pay attention to these details because Dähler put in a lot of work to make its M2 Convertible look like the actual M2. Most of attention was placed on the front profile of the convertible as the tuner modified the front bumper of the convertible to include a new spoiler lip and the unmistakable aero panels that partially cover the massive air intakes. Those panels are one of the M2’s most distinguishable characteristics and if Dähler really wanted to make the M2 Convertible look like the M2, those had to be there.

The side profile of the convertible doesn’t change much, but move over to the rear and you’ll see an M2-like rear bumper that was put in to replace that of the 2 Series Convertible’s stock bumper. Notice how the thin brake lights on the bumper now run vertically on opposite ends, as opposed to the horizontal versions on the 2 Series Convertible. The other distinct characteristic of this M2-like bumper is its configuration, particularly on the lower section where Dähler accounted for the quad tailpipes – another M feature – instead of the dual pipes on the 2 Series Convertible.

The results don’t exactly mirror that of the M2, but it is pretty darn close, as shown by this side-by-side photo of the two models.

2017 BMW M2 Convertible by Dähler Design & Technik GmbH High Resolution Exterior
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2016 - 2018 BMW M2 High Resolution Exterior
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Note: side-by-side photo of Dahler’s M2 Convertible and the BMW M2.

Finishing off the Swiss tuner’s exterior upgrades is a new set of 20- and 21-inch wheels that Dähler itself built. The wheel sizes are the same ones used by BMW on the M2 compared to the 17-inch wheels that come standard on the 2 Series Convertible.

As an added bonus, check out Dähler’s work on the 2 Series Convertible and compare it what our rendering of an M2 Convertible looks like. Pretty similar too, right?

2017 BMW M2 Convertible by Dähler Design & Technik GmbH High Resolution Exterior
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2017 BMW M2 Convertible Exterior Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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Note: side-by-side photo of Dahler’s M2 Convertible and TopSpeed’s rendering of the M2 Convertible.

What others have done

Truth be told, there aren’t that many tuners who have built programs for the 2 Series Convertible so if you’re going to look at a comparison regarding exterior upgrades to the drop-top 2er, you’re going to have to go directly to BMW. Fortunately, the German automaker hasn’t been bashful about dressing up the 2 Series Convertible, as shown by its presentation of the 2 Series Convertible with the M Sport Package.

The options available to the M Sport Package aren’t overwhelming but it is worth mentioning that the package itself followed a similar template as Dähler, at least pertaining to the convertible’s front bumper. The package also includes a “special design” for the kidney grille that really isn’t all that special. The M Sport Package also gave the convertible’s rear section small pieces of love, most notably a high-gloss chrome ornament on the exhaust pipe and a diffuser-like piece under the bumper.

2015 BMW 2 Series Convertible M Sport Package Exterior
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Note: photo of the BMW 2 Series Convertible M Sport Package.

Interior

Dähler’s work on the 2 Series Convertible’s interior is minimal, if you can even call it that. In fact, the cabin remains in stock form so don’t expect anything out of the ordinary. Fortunately, the interior configurations of both the M2 and the 2 Series Convertible are largely similar, as shown in the photos below.

2015 BMW 2 Series Convertible
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2016 - 2018 BMW M2 Interior High Resolution
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Note: side-by-side photos of the interiors of the BMW 2 Series Convertible and the BMW M2

The only upgrade that Dähler put into its M2 Convertible is the MID-display-unit that replaces the center HVAC vent on the driver’s side. Physically, it’s not a drastic change but functionally, the little screen shows performance information like water and oil temperatures, which are important to monitor given the engine upgrades that the Swiss tuner did.

What others have done

Again, we can look straight to BMW for some reference, at least if the M Sport Package is an option. The upgrades that feature in the package include aluminum door sills that wear M logos, an Aluminum Hexagon trim, Estoril Blue-finished accept strips, and a leather-wrapped M steering wheel. The package also comes with a special design for the interior’s instrument cluster and some splashy footrests that are also of the M variety.

2015 BMW 2 Series Convertible M Sport Package High Resolution Interior
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Note: photo of the BMW 2 Series Convertible M Sport Package’s interior.

Drivetrain

2017 BMW M2 Convertible by Dähler Design & Technik GmbH High Resolution Drivetrain
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Give credit to Dähler for committing to this project and seeing it through. It’s hard enough to turn a 2 Series Convertible into something that resembles a roofless M2, but the Swiss tuner also put in the work to prepare not one, but two performance updates to the car’s 3.0-liter inline-six engine, which by its mere presence suggests that Dähler could have used the BMW M235i as the base version of its M2 Convertible.

In any case, the Level 1 software upgrades to the six-cylinder engine helped Dähler achieve a new output of 408 horsepower and 428 pound-feet of torque, enough to propel the convertible from 0 to 62 mph in four seconds before hitting a top speed of 180 mph. Even more promising is the tuner’s Level 2 upgrade, which takes the tune up a notch to the level of 425 horsepower and 450 pound-feet of torque, dropping the sprint to 62 mph time south of four seconds to go with a sicker top speed of 186 mph. Here’s how the two kits stack up.

Upgrade Power Torque 0 to 60 MPH Top Speed
Level 1 408 horsepower 428 pound-feet 4.0 seconds 180 mph
Level 2 425 horsepower 450 pound-feet under four seconds 186 mph

The extra power generated by the six-cylinder engine makes it ripe for some pretty impressive throttle noise. That’s likely why the Swiss tuner also added a custom stainless steel exhaust system to the whole kit, inducing a pair of dark tips fro each corner of the rear.

The bigger question now is how does Dähler’s engine tune of the M2 Convertible stack up compared to the actual M2 Coupe? For that, we go to another table to compare the two, and then add the BMW M4 as a point of reference.

Model Power Torque 0 to 60 MPH Top Speed
BMW M2 Convertible by Dähler 425 horsepower 450 pound-feet under four seconds 186 mph
BMW M2 Coupe 365 horsepower 343 pound-feet 4.2 seconds 155 mph (electronically limited)
BMW M4 425 horsepower 406 pound-feet 4.1 seconds 155 mph (electronically limited)

Well, will you look at that! Dähler’s M2 Convertible build not only has the same amount of power as the BMW M4, it’s also quicker to 60 mph and has a higher top speed!

What others have done

In fact, if you compare the results that Dähler achieved compared to other programs for the actual M2, the results are predominantly similar, even a little higher than other tuners. AC Schnitzer achieved 420 horsepower from a program that includes software upgrades and a charge cooler to help improve the engine’s efficiency. Hamann and G-Power also offered software tunes, but they actually got less power than what Dähler achieved, amounting to just 420 horsepower and 410 horsepower, respectively.

Tuner Power Torque 0 to 60 mph Top Speed
Dähler 425 horsepower 450 pound-feet under four seconds 186 mph
AC Schnitzer 420 horsepower n/a 4.0 seconds 180 mph*
Hamann 420 horsepower 391 pound-feet 4.0 seconds* 180 mph*
G-Power 410 horsepower 420 pound-feet of torque 4.0 seconds* 180 mph

Note: *estimate

No matter which way you slice it, Dähler’s build of the M2 Convertible is as impressive as it looks and sounds.

Suspension and Brakes

2017 BMW M2 Convertible by Dähler Design & Technik GmbH High Resolution Exterior
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Suspension and brake upgrades on the M2 Convertible are minimal in quantity, but they’re still significant given the other changes that have happened to the car. The long and short of it – literally and figuratively – is that the Swiss tuner installed an adjustable sports suspension with 16 settings and big brakes with 15.75-inch discs and 8-piston calipers.

Pricing

Dähler didn’t specify how much the whole build is going to cost, but with all the modifications it did, don’t expect it to cost anything less than a pretty penny. As is often the case with these type of builds, the specifications often vary depending on what a customer wants so the price varies with it. The best way to find out though is to contact the tuner directly.

Competition

BMW M2 by Alpha-N Performance

2016 BMW M2 by Alpha-N Performance
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Given the lack of any tuner work on the M2 Convertible – there isn’t one to begin with – let’s line up what other tuners have done to the convertible’s coupe counterpart. This particular kit comes by way of Alpha-N Performance, one of the busiest aftermarket companies in 2016. The highlight of the tuner’s kit for the M2 is a software upgrade that nets an output of 450 horsepower and around 420 pound-feet of torque, more than Hamann, AC Schnitzer, G-Power, and Dähler’s engine tune for its M2 Convertible.

Read the full review here.

BMW M2 “LW M2” by Lightweight Performance

2016 BMW M2 "LW M2" By Lightweight Performance
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One of the more recent programs developed for the M2 comes by way of Lightweight Performance and its “LW M2” tuning kit. Like most tuners, Lightweight’s focus was on the sports coupe’s 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder engine as it installed a modified air intake and added 300-cell downpipes to the drivetrain’s overall configuration. These upgrades helped Lightweight Performance extract 450 horsepower out of the engine, boosting the coupe’s top speed to 184 mph in the process.

Read the full review here.

Conclusion

2017 BMW M2 Convertible by Dähler Design & Technik GmbH High Resolution Exterior
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Well, there you have it. A BMW M2 Convertible has finally become a reality, except that BMW had nothing to do with it. I’d say that it looks great; it’s not really the M2, but it’s close enough. It also has the power and performance credentials that can compete with other tuners who developed their own kits for the actual M2. It’s an impressive all-around job that should get Dähler Design & Technik GmbH more recognition in the ever-competitive world of aftermarket tuning.

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    • Not an easy program to install
    • Pricing could be expensive
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