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Detroit show: BMW shows its M2 crowd pleaser

Blue hue: BMW’s new M2 will get a blue theme on items such as brake callipers and contrast stitching in the upholstery when it goes on sale globally next year.

BMW’s most affordable M machine locked in for 2016 launch in Australia

14 Oct 2015

BMW has taken the wraps from its new high-performance M2 Coupe that promises to bring the delights of hard-edged M power to a whole new clientele when it lands in Australia in the first half of 2016.

Powered by a twin-scroll-turbo 272kW/465Nm 3.0-litre in-line six-cylinder engine, the rear-wheel-drive two-door M2 is expected to go public at the Detroit motor show in January.

The M2 is the successor for the 250kW/450Nm 1 Series M Coupe that did brief service as a limited edition in Australia in 2011-12, priced from a hefty $99k.

Unlike the 1M – so named to distinguish it from the M1 supercar of yesteryear – there should be few such artificial restrictions on M2 volumes once it lands here, probably in the second quarter of next year.

BMW Australia remains hush-hush on pricing, saying only that the price will be “keen” to attract a new audience of car enthusiasts who, until now, have not been able to afford an M dream machine.

The most affordable full-blooded M-enhanced BMW in the current line-up is the $139,900 (plus on-road costs) M3 sedan, while the M4 Coupe is priced $10,000 more.

Said BMW Group Australia general manager corporate communications Lenore Fletcher: “We expect strong market appeal for the M2, which will really open up the M brand to a whole new audience. Apart from the performance, it (the M2) looks so good.

“We will be putting our hand up for every car we can get.”

Theoretically, the M2’s nearest competitors are the five-door, all-wheel-drive Audi RS3 Sportback and Mercedes-AMG A45, priced from $78,900 and $75,800 respectively.

The M2’s power and torque are line-ball with that of the five-cylinder 2.5-litre turbocharged RS3 (270kW/465Nm) and a tick more than the four-cylinder 2.0-litre A45 (265kW/450Nm).

But as BMW’s existing 2 Series performance champion, the $79,540 M235i, is already priced at a premium over the other Germans in Australia, it raises the question of how BMW will fit the new variant into its line-up and if it will try to demand a premium over its German rivals.

Ms Fletcher told GoAuto that rather than price the M2 against its rivals, the pricing would be set according to BMW’s own valuation of the new car.

Regardless, we expect the M2 to be priced tens of thousands of dollars cheaper than the M3, and yet be only marginally slower.

While the six-speed manual-gearbox-equipped 317kW/550Nm M3 bolts out of the blocks to hit 100km/h in 4.3 seconds, the M2 Coupe does it in a claimed 4.5 seconds.

With the optional dual-clutch seven-speed automatic transmission and launch control aboard, the M2 slams to 100km/h in 4.3 seconds, just 0.2 seconds tardier than the auto M3.

In both cases, the M2 is quicker than the eight-speed automatic M235i that does the sprint in 5.0 seconds.

The M2’s engine is reportedly a reworking of the M135i’s 240kW/450Nm unit rather than a dumbed-down version of the twin-turbo six-pot screamer in the M3 and M4.

M2’s peak power is achieved at 6500rpm, while top torque comes in at a mere 1400rpm. An overboost function during kick-down can blow the torque out to 500Nm.

Fuel economy is said to be 8.5 litres per 100 kilometres on the European combined test scale for the manual version, and 7.9L/100km for the DCT.

The M2 has lightweight aluminium sports suspension lifted from the M3 and M4, along with 19-inch alloy wheels with wider tyres at the rear.

Power is delivered to the rear wheels via an active differential for what BMW calls optimal traction and directional control. A multi-mode ESC system includes a dynamic mode that allows a little wheel slip for drift hooning.

Body wise, the M2 is distinguished from its more pedestrian brethren by a sharp-edged front bumper with bigger air openings and lower splitter, as well as flared guards and a unique rear-end treatment that includes a tiny rear lip pointer and black diffuser incorporating quad exhaust pipes.

M sports seats, sports steering wheel and gearshift lever get leather with blue contrast stitching. Front brake callipers are blue too.

Among the apps loaded into BMW’s ConnectedDrive system is a GoPro app that allows the driver to hook up a camera to record fast laps on a BYO dash-mounted camera. At the same time, the driver can record lap times, speeds and braking points on the M Laptimer for sharing on social media.

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31st of August 2011

BMW 1 Series M Coupe

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