Where do you go when you buy a brand-new BMW and you want to do some light-to-moderate tuning/modifying? Typically, you go to an aftermarket tuner, right? Where else would you go? Well, instead, the Bavarians want you to come straight to them. Whether it be on the order sheet, when you’re ordering your brand-new Bimmer, or at a dealership to modify a BMW you already have. BMW wants to do your tuning/modifying for you, with its M Performance Parts division.
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This isn’t a revolutionary idea, to be honest. Several brands have had OEM tuning equipment for decades. If anything, it’s the American muscle car brands that made it famous, back in the ’60s and ’70s. However, in today’s modern era, BMW M Performance Parts is taking things to a level further than most, if not further than all, other manufacturers. This BMW M2 Competition is a good example of that.
Before we talk about this specific car, I wanna jump back in time just a couple of weeks. Don’t worry, this won’t get too complicated and confusing, we aren’t writers at This Is Us (What? My wife watches the show).
A couple of weeks ago, I received an email from some of the folks at BMW’s M Performance Parts division. We’ve worked with them before on a few other projects, so we weren’t unaware of what they do. However, they told me they had some new stuff that I should check out. So I drove up to BMW’s North American headquarters in New Jersey and was able to check out a few of their new projects. One of them being the BMW M2 Competition you see in these photos. After ogling the cars for a bit, I had asked if we could drive any. They were a bit apprehensive to say yes, so they didn’t. These were pre-production parts on test mules and risky to let a ham-fisted journalist like myself sample.
However, just the next week, I received another email, giving me the green light to test drive the M2 Comp with all of its M Performance goodies. Yay.
Fast forward to the present. The BMW M2 Competition you see here is fitted with parts that genuinely astonished me. Not because the parts are outrageous themselves, but because they’re outrageous to be available as add-ons directly from the manufacturer. Let’s cut to the chase, though. The M2 Competition you’re looking at is sporting a carbon fiber hood, a carbon fiber trunklid, carbon fiber mirror caps and carbon fiber fenders.
That’s right, you can get genuine carbon fiber body panels, directly from BMW, to replace the steel ones on your M2 Competition. That’s simply incredible. As far as I know, there isn’t another manufacturer that even semi-competes with BMW that will sell you carbon fiber fenders.
On my test car, those fenders are unpainted. They’re finished in clear-coat to protect them but they’re not painted. Now, you can order them that way, or you can have them painted in body color. They’re unpainted on my test mule so as to show off the fact that they are, indeed, carbon fiber.
Why would you want carbon body panels? Well, two reasons; one is the fact that having a carbon hood and carbon fenders does reduce weight over the nose by quite a bit which should improve steering and front-end agility. The other is the simple fact that they’re just flipping cool. Do they actually make a difference in steering and handling? Honestly, I can’t tell. I’ve yet to sample the M2 Competition on the road (only track use so far) and even if I had, without driving them back-to-back I wouldn’t be able to tell. Having said that, turn-in was remarkable during my time with it and I was constantly amazed at how sharp its front end felt. Maybe most of that is just how good the M2 is, maybe it was the ultra-sticky Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires and maybe it was the lightweight carbon fiber front end. Or maybe it was a combination of all three.
I can tell you this, though. Few cars I’ve ever had on test have ever turned as many heads. The BMW i8 Roadster I had barely garnered as much attention as this carbon-equipped M2 Comp. Admittedly, unpainted carbon fiber body panels will do that. Most customers will have them painted. But so many car enthusiasts were flat-out blown away by carbon fenders and a carbon hood. to be honest, it doesn’t look great with them unpainted. In fact, from a far, it looks like the car has been in a crash and no one painted its replacement body panels yet. However, up close, it just looks intriguing and odd. People looked at it the way dogs look at you when you make a noise they’ve never heard before.
So if you want to order these parts, have them painted. However, keep their underbellies exposed. So paint the outside of the hood and fenders but keep the inside pure carbon. This way, when you turn up to the car meet with your friends, and you pop the hood, you’ll have a little Easter Egg that will drive car nuts wild.
It’s not just carbon fiber body panels, either. Our car was fitted with an M Performance height-adjustable coilover suspension kit as well. It was set up pretty low on my test mule and was overly stiff for the road but I can imagine it being great for track use. Maybe I’m just getting old but if it were my money, and I was going to daily the car, I’d leave the coilovers at the port. However, you can also get an M Performance exhaust, brake kit and more.
Oh, and I forgot the best part of the entire car — weighted wheel center caps. Like a Rolls Royce. I’m serious. Notice all the center caps in the photos are perfectly upright? I’m far too lazy to get them lined up up like that for photos. They’re weighted like they are on Rolls’ and will always stay upright. Those weighted center caps are available right now from BMW’s M Performance Parts website and can be had on any current BMW wheel. The best part? They’re no more expensive than the standard ones. Go get em, folks.
All of these parts can be ordered with your car straight from the factory, or added on at a dealer and that’s the real beauty of it. You can order them as you order your car. So you can spec them on the order sheet, have their cost built into the final cost of the car and maintain a full factory warranty. This way, you’re not buying a brand-new, very expensive sports car and then shelling out a bunch of cash on top of that to a tuner to add some potentially suspect parts while also voiding warranties. Buying these parts from M Performance allows you to subsidize their cost into the payments of the car and maintain a full factory BMW warranty. This is a no brainer, folks.