Ahead of its world debut next week, the BMW M2 makes its final rounds in the UK where journalists have a chance to spend some time with BMW’s most awaited car of the year. Hunter Skipworth takes a look under the M2’s skin – and gets just a taste of the turbocharged inline-six in action.

The two door compact coupe will debut at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show with sales commencing in April.

BMW M2 uses a brand-new six-cylinder in-line engine, with M TwinPower Turbo technology and three-liter displacement, develops 272 kW/370 hp with peak torque of 465 Nm / 343 lb-ft. Peak torque of 465 Nm (343 lb-ft) can be increased to as much as 500 Nm (369 lb-ft) in short bursts under overboost. With the optional M Double Clutch Transmission (M DCT) in place and Launch Control activated, BMW M2 sprints from rest to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.3 seconds (4.5 s with the six-speed manual gearbox).

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BMW seem to have learned something from the M235i and the new M2’s exhaust comes with special flap system. The traditional twin dual tailpipes are still present – a clear sign this is an M car – with electrically controlled flap delivering the distinctive BMW M engine soundtrack across the entire rev range without pushing volume levels to their stipulated limits.

In addition, drivers can use the Driving Experience Control switch to select a driving mode and a preconfigured sound to go with it.

The quantities are not limited – according to official statements – and are likely to significantly surpass the BMW 1 Series M Coupé. A facelift is already rumored to be scheduled for 2017.