BMW M2: It’ll snarl and growl but it will not savage you

The BMW M2 with its three litre straight six turbo produces 370bhp and is an instant classic and gets a deserved five-star rating from Examiner Motoring, writes Declan Colley

I WROTE recently about the exceptional BMW 440i, describing it as an excellent mode of transport for the more mature hooligan. This week I bring you the BMW M2, which truly is for hooligans of any age, creed or sex.

An exceptional blend of naked aggression, frightening pace, exceptional handling and the ability to bring a smile to your face merely by looking at it, the M2 is not cheap, coming as it does with an €83,000 price tag, but boy is it good.

Equipped with the same three litre straight six turbo as the more potent M4 (although in this case detuned from 450 bhp to a mere 370) the M2 is as sonorous and joyful as anything you will find out there right now, apart from anything purely race-bred.

This car is an instant classic and for anyone who might baulk at the asking price, it might be worth remembering that, in due course and in pristine condition, these things will surely fetch grand sums of money from those latchicos who missed out at the start.

The basic figures of the car bear some detailed consideration and while it may be unfortunate for some that top speed is limited to 250 kph, the 0-100 kph dash is achieved in just 4.3 seconds, while there is a stonking 450 Nm of torque available between 1,400 and 5,560 rpm (with 500 Nm at your disposal on overboost). That’s pretty impressive, you’d have to say.

And it is as impressive in the flesh as it is on paper.

There may be those who will huff that the M2 is a smaller, shorter, lighter and less powerful character than its’ M4 sibling — and they are correct. However, when they pooh-pooh the car for not being extreme enough, they are talking, well, pooh.

Certainly, the M2 might not be the monster the M4 is, but it is wild enough to be seen as a direct descendant and yet not wild enough to bite, scratch, gouge and shred you in the same way the M4 does. If big brother constantly demonstrates that it is the master and you are the servant, then the opposite is true with little brother.

At no point in you’re driving of the M2 do you ever get the impression the car will turn on you like a rogue infidel.

While it will snarl and growl and provide an aural soundtrack like any good performance car should, it does not appear to have the same level of malfeasant intent the larger car has and, believe me, when you’re pushing this thing to whatever limit you’re comfortable with, the knowledge that it will not savage you — unless you’re really dumb — is indeed comforting.

The bottom line here is that the M2 will provide you with every performance parameter you’d like to push without adding that niggling worry that it will kill you as well.

While the exterior look is all muscular bulging, fat tyres on 19” alloys and testosterone wheelarches, the inside of the car is a picture of restraint by comparison. Indeed there is not much visually which makes it obviously different from the standard version.

That said it is a nice place to be and the excellent graphics and the universality of the design — it could only be a BMW — make it very easy to live with. The front seats are fantastically supportive and finding the optimum driving position a doddle.

Apart also from being wildly endowed, it is mildly disappointing only in a few small areas — the biggest of which is the ride which, without the assistance of active dampers, can be a bit wearing on long B-road jaunts.

On the plus side the electronic diff adds greatly to the driving experience and allows as much tail-happiness as you’re confident to induce without, as I say, giving you the impression it is going to cause any clogs to be popped.

This is as good a modern day sports coupe as there is to be found right now and for that it gets the very rare accolade of a five-star Examiner Motoring rating.



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