Regardless of whether you like the BMW M2 or not, it’s been one of the most highly anticipated cars over the last 5 years. Since the 1M tantalized thousands of BMW lovers, we’ve long awaited the day where you can go get a car that offered concentrated driving thrill.
Now, the M2 is here.
But, like in many aspects of life, there are a few caveats that go along with the M2. Some of them you’ll read and dismiss because they may not seem important to you now, but to the large group of M aficionado, they make a slight difference.
Before we get started, let’s just announce that we know that the car has to be a little more “dumbed down” so that it doesn’t hurt M4 sales. We know they are creating two different tiers between the cars. The M4 going closer to the M5 in terms of comfort, luxury and style, leaving the M2 to be the wild-in-the-streets, rowdy and unruly little brother.
I’m sure everyone watched Chris Harris do the review of the M2 on the most recent Top Gear episode. He gave it a favorable nod in terms of performance and it’s ability to be “fun.” But, he pointed out some of the things that would really irk people who want an M car. The first two points stem from Harris and the rest are a culmination of other things that may bug you, if you’re looking to own an M2.
1 – Why is the stick shift non-illuminated?
It may sound ridiculous but why? It’s the same gear-shifter in the F82, which does illuminate, why wouldn’t this one?
2 – Oil Temperature gauge?
3 – The Mirrors.
They are basic but still one of the coolest features of the 1M was that it had the E92 mirrors. They simply just added to the beef-cake style look of the car. And, I believe, they would’ve helped make the front of the M2 look even better.
4- The Carbon Roof
Why? When I was at the NYIAS, I moseyed right over to the M2. After talking about it for a little while, the rep came over and approached me. When I asked her why there was a carbon roof – she replied: “Why does it need one? It’s light enough.” Not only was this disappointing because: nothing is ever “light enough” when talking about performance, but because the carbon roof would’ve been awesome. It’s a roof that’s not only aesthetically is pleasing because it breaks and contrasts the color of the body with the roof line but it’s also a nod to the enthusiast. That, yes, we like carbon fiber, and there can literally never be enough carbon fiber.
5- The “M” buttons.
Somehow they’ve fitted the M2 with the M3/4 steering wheel but they wouldn’t fill the gap for the M1 and M2 buttons. There is actually the space for the buttons, but instead of being M buttons, there just filled with a dummy-button that doesn’t actually push in.
6- Performance Controls
The car comes with the performance controls of a standard BMW. Unlike the M cars that have Steering, Suspension (if you have adaptive), Throttle, and Transmission (if DCT is equipped); the M2 gives the controls of a layman BMW – Comfort, Sport, and Sport +.
7 – Outside Side Air Ducts
On all of the other M cars, the side air ducts are actually breathers. They look cool, but they serve some sort of function. On the M2 – they are just big, solid plastic clunks that sit on the side of the car which allow no air to come through.
8 – The Auto Blip Feature
Auto-blipping in the M3/4 was fun for the first 6 minutes I had the car. Just to see what it was like. I don’t think I’ve even driven the car in efficient mode more than 5 or 6 times since then. The M3/4 lets you disable the auto-blip by putting the car in Sport + mode. However, because of all the manually adjustable settings – you can leave the car in the softest of modes, with Sport + engaged and the auto-blip will deactivate.
In the M2, you have to shut the traction control completely off in order for the auto-blip to cut itself. Why? Not sure. You may just want to go for a ride through some backroad twists and enjoy throttle blipping and heel-toeing yourself, when all of a sudden you have to drive the car without one of the biggest safety innovations in the history of automobiles…
These are just the little things. In fact, I still want an M2 pretty badly. Everyone’s response will be that “they need to cut costs!”, “How could they make this affordable if they put all of this in!” and I’ll tell you what. The car is still $50,000 before anything is said and done. That’s not that cheap. Atop of all of that, they are putting a principle on the lease pricing of an M2. Which means you’ll be paying more just to lease one of these cars.
I’m not saying we should be getting the same leather, the convenience options, or the lighting packages. I’m saying we should have all the stuff that comes in a real M car. We don’t want another M235i, we want an M car. And it seems that the M2 is an M car in the sense of performance, which, ultimately is the most important aspect. But, many of us are nerds and geeks for the little things that remind you that you’re driving something different than the standard.
We know the M2 needs to be and is cheaper than an M4, but it’s not a cheap car. Some of these shortcuts are a little overwhelming.