It’s no secret that the BMW M2 is the most hotly anticipated BMW since the 1 Series M. Many BMW fans have been somewhat disappointed with their favorite Bavarian brand within the last few years. Recent BMW M cars have gotten bigger, heavier, turbocharged and less dynamic than they’ve previously been. And this upsets many BMW enthusiasts. But the BMW M2 looks to change that and it has fans chomping at the bit to find out if it will live up to the hype.
It’s very possible that the BMW M2 could be the car that brings the brand back to the driving greatness it was once known for. The M2 is looked at as the spiritual successor to the BMW 1 Series M and even the E46 M3 of many years ago.
Its small size, turbocharged I6 engine and rear-drive give the M2 the best recipe for fun out of any M car. Plus it’s based on the 2 Series which is already considered to be the most fun BMW currently available, especially in M235i guise.
But can it really be better to drive than the current BMW M4? The M4 is no slouch in the performance department and it’s not as if anyone ever said the car was boring. Is it as pure as an E30 M3? Of course not, but it’s an absolute riot to drive. The M4 is fast, dynamic, handles well and puts grins on faces. The only real knock against the M4 is that it isn’t the scalpel that previous M3s were. It’s more of a machete. But the M2 could be that scalpel we’ve been missing for so long.
The BMW M2 is underpowered, compared to the M4, making 370 hp to the M4’s 425. But it’s also a couple hundred pounds lighter and that makes a big difference. The M2 also has a shorter wheelbase and is based on a more dynamic car. So the M2 might not be the powerhouse that the M4 is, but it might be the scalpel that the M4 isn’t. The also has a brand new engine, which uses intelligently designed oil sumps and variable valve timing, to make the engine smoother, sweeter and rev higher and faster. It also has a new-fangled exhaust system that should make it sound great as well. So it seems as if BMW aims to provide more fun with the M2 than it does power and performance.
If the BMW M235i is a good metric in which to measure how the M2 will be, things are looking good. The M235i is already considered the most fun car in BMW’s current stable. So imagine making that car but lighter, faster, stiffer and meaner with a better sounding engine. That’s the M2 in a nutshell. Obviously, the M2 is a bit more sophisticated than that and has a specially tuned engine and chassis compared to the somewhat plebeian, by comparison, M235i. But it, essentially, takes what’s great about the M235i and cranks it up to eleven. To me, that sounds like a recipe for the perfect M car for today’s market.