First Drive: BMW M2 Coupé

Yesterday I was lucky enough to attend the national media launch for the most anticipated BMW M car for a long time, the little BMW M2 Coupé. As we only managed to squeeze in a few hot laps, it was hard to get a real opinion on the car so this will be a brief overview rather than a nice in-depth review.

Firstly let’s talk about BMW M cars in South Africa. Judging by the numbers and knowing what shows up in the #ExoticSpotSA inbox the country is in love with them. So much so that we rank 5th in the world (out of 32) in terms of M products being sold. Last year, BMW South Africa sold 1,965 units of which 916 of them were proper M cars and the other 1,049 units belong to the M Performance side of things. Overall, this is an increase in M product sales of 40% from the previous year.

So then, let’s get on to the latest M offering from BMW. The first allocation of M2’s (63 of them) were snapped up in a heartbeat and there is a solid waiting list for the next batch to arrive sometime next year. This just re-iterates the South African love for pure M cars and this is quite possibly the best package out of the whole lot. Looks-wise, it’s everything it needs to be (even without M Performance bits and pieces). Inflated haunches with dramatic wheel arches means the M2 is certainly not subtle. Big wide airdams dominate the front and the rear of the car is properly stocky.

Many individuals were worried that this would just be a slightly hotted up M235i but we can assure you that it is most definitely not. Yes it is undeniably from the 2-Series family but it ends there! While the chance to sample this machine around a picturesque Franschoek Motor Museum racetrack was brief, the developments and changes are absolutely instantaneous. Thanks to the new 3.0-litre straight six Twin-Power turbo engine that develops 272 kW you are able to do the 100 km/h sprint in just 4.5 seconds but that is not where this car shines the most. The track is where it is meant to live and it was so hard to do the cool down lap and pull into the pits after the session. The feedback and handling in this M car is possibly the best out of the whole lot and the urge to get back in the car and drive is insatiable.

New to the track? This is the car to take with you.

  • M Servotronic steering has 2 settings and the feedback is fantastic
  • M compound brakes really do the job when coming into a slow corner
  • M Differential is what makes this car so mind-bogglingly good
It is electronically actuated and takes inputs and readings from wheel speed, slip, yaw, braking and accelerations and removes the under-steer problem that M235i had with gusto. This is the first M car that one truly feels comfortable to drive at speed. It won’t bite you it will warn you and the go-kart feel really allows you to explore the edge of the machine.
As mentioned prior, availability will be hard for this year but if you are patient you will get your prize. This is not limited like the 1M Coupe was so don’t expect to buy one and make some bucks off it. Buy it because you love it!

6-speed manual – R791 000
M DCT – R841 000

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