We’ve been biding our time for a follow-up to the fun BMW 1 Series M Coupe, and it appears the 2016 BMW M2 will be worth the wait.
The 1 Series M Coupe was an exciting blip on BMW‘s radar. Buyers hoping for a spiritual successor to the iconic 2002 found a lot to like in the small coupe with a twin-turbocharged inline-six that cranked out 335 horsepower.
Production for the 1 Series M Coupe ended in 2011, with fewer than 1,000 units sold in the US. Since then, BMW has fielded the M4 Coupe, which thumps the ground with 425 horsepower and a mid-$60K base price. The 1 Series M Coupe could be had for less than $50K, and so there was a hole of brutally quick and relatively affordable coupes in the lineup.
Now the M2 is here. It’s about the same size as the 1 Series, with about four inches added in length and two inches in width. So while it doesn’t cast the same tight shadow of the 1 Series M Coupe, the M2 is still more than eight inches shorter than the M4, which keeps it feeling compact-sized, and therefore more in line with comparisons to the 2002.
The M2 bests the 1 Series M Coupe by 30 horsepower with its 365 horsepower. Its 343 lb.-ft. of torque tops its predecessor’s 332 rating as well, and an overclock function raises peak torque to 369 lb.-ft., which is available as low 1,450 rpm.
Two transmissions are available – a six-speed manual and a seven-speed M Double Clutch Transmission, otherwise known as M DCT with Drivelogic. The M DCT offers six different driving programs, and Launch Control preps the clutches for maximum bite off the line. BMW claims the the M DCT shaves 0.2 seconds off the manual M2’s 4.4-second 0-60 acceleration time.
One M2 handling highlight is its standard M Dynamic Mode (MDM), which operates within the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC). MDM essentially delays the dampening actions of DSC, allowing drivers extra wheel slip to do some drifting. To get the best views of your tail-out slides, the M2 adds a GoPro app to the optional ConnectedDrive Services, allowing you to dial it in through the iDrive controller.
The BMW M2 hits US dealers in April 2016 with a base price of $51,700.