The BMW M2 CS Racing is an affordable, race-ready M2 CS

The 2021 BMW M2 CS Racing is a motorsport version of the company’s M2 CS road-going coupe. A replacement for the BMW M240i Racing, the 2021 M2 CS Racing, comes with significant upgrades for track use and slots under the BMW M4 GT4 as the firm’s entry-level race car. What makes the 2021 M2 CS Racing an authentic race car? Where can you race this vehicle? Find out in the review below.

Exterior

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The M2 CS Racing is obviously based on the M2 CS, a track-focused version of the M2 that BMW introduced in November 2019.

Visual upgrades on the road car are rather mild compared to the regular M2, but the Racing model is fitted with extra goodies design to improve track performance.

Up front, you won’t notice radical changes. The road and race car look essentially the same, with the Racing version featuring a slightly reshaped splitter and additional vents flanking the lower area of the kidney grille. The grille no longer includes the road car’s thin vent, but it’s fitted with race-spec quick-release pins.

2021 BMW M2 CS Racing Exterior
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The profile of the M2 CS Racing isn’t all that different from the road-legal car either. You can notice similar designs for the side skirts and mirror cars, and even the flared fenders are pretty much identical. The only noticeable changes here are the quarter windows fitted with fuel caps and the center-lock race-spec wheels. The M2 CS Racing also rides a bit lower than the road car.

Around back, the M2 CS Racing again retains the layout of the road-going model, but it no longer features the spoiler on the trunk lid. Instead, it sports a large wing for increased downforce. The license plate was removed to make way for quick-release pins, while the diffuser-like element houses a different exhaust system.

Interior

2021 BMW M2 CS Racing Interior
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The interior of the M2 CS Racing retains most elements of the road-going car, but it's been stripped down to save weight.

The dashboard retains road-spec features on the upper side, including the "CS" badge on the passenger side, but the infotainment display is gone. The same goes for the lower center stack, which now hosts race-related controls instead of the A/C and audio consoles. The instrument cluster’s analog clocks were also removed, with all crucial info now displayed on a screen. A proper motorsport steering wheel with illuminated buttons and knobs replaces the standard M2 CS unit.

The standard door panels have been replaced with lighter units. Not only are they thinner, but they’re also made from carbon-fiber. However, the doors retain regular handles, a bit surprising given that race cars are usually fitted with fabric pulls. Finally, BMW installed racing buckets instead of the regular sports front seats, while the rear units were removed altogether.

2021 BMW M2 CS Racing Interior
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Despite being prepped for track use, the M2 CS Racing comes with air conditioning as standard.

The seats are fitted with six-point harnesses, while the rear-view mirror is larger than usual for improved rear visibility. There’s also an FIA-certified safety roll cage. The options list includes a Recaro driver’s seat, a race taxi seat, and preparation for a drinking system.

Drivetrain

2021 BMW M2 CS Racing Drivetrain
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Similarities to the road car continue under the hood, where the M2 CS Racing hides a turbocharged, 3.0-liter inline-six engine. This mill is shared with the road car, which in turn borrows it from the previous BMW M4.

The official power rating is listed at between 280 to 365 horsepower, depending on the balance of performance or Permit B classification.

In simpler terms, this means that output depends on the racing category and the weight of the car, which varies depending on configuration and options.

For reference, the road-going M2 CS comes with 444 horsepower on tap, so the racing version is notably less powerful. On the other hand, the M2 CS Racing should is also notably less powerful, so it probably benefits from a superior power-to-weight ratio. Output is configurable via a power stick.

2021 BMW M2 CS Racing Exterior
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BMW says it is already working on an upgraded drivetrain package that will increase output to 450 horsepower.

The engine mates to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission with motorsport software and a Drexler mechanical, limited-slip differential with separate cooling. The M2 CS Racing is also fitted with bespoke driveshafts, modified engine mountings, and a race-spec wheel bearing for the rear axle.

The chassis also features improvements over the road-going model. It comes with three-level adjustable anti-roll bars front and rear and motorsport-spec dampers from ZF Sachs.

The coupe is also fitted with race-spec steering connections, bespoke spring dome on the front axle, and spherical front- and rear-axle suspension. BMW also offers springs with three ratings for both axles.

Where can you race the 2021 BMW M2 CS Racing?

2021 BMW M2 CS Racing Exterior
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The M2 CS Racing is eligible for the NLS Nurburgring Endurance Series and the TC America. The NLS Series is formerly known as the VLN Series and brings together a wide variety of cars spread over multiple classes. Just like the outgoing M240i Racing, the M2 CS Racing is eligible for the SP8T class and the Cup class. The latter is for single-make cup cars. The NSL Series calendar usually includes multiple four-hour races on the Nurburgring Nordschleife.

TC America is contested in the United States on race tracks like the Circuit of the Americas, Sonoma Raceway, Road America, and the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The series includes three classes: TCR, TC, and TCA. The BMW M2 CS Racing is eligible for the TC class.

How much does the 2021 BMW M2 CS Racing cost?

2021 BMW M2 CS Racing Exterior
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Pricing for the race car starts from €95,000 in Europe, not including VAT. The M2 CS Racing will come in at around $105,000 in the United States. It’s the most affordable race-spec car from BMW and an ideal start if you want to start a racing career.

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 More
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