There was a time when it seemed like BMW could do no wrong. Its 3 Series and 5 Series models were winning just about every single automotive publication’s comparison tests and winning seemingly endless awards. From about the ’80s to the mid-00’s, BMW was on top of the world. BMW’s dominance during that time was solely due to its driving dynamics and feel. Simply nothing drove or felt as good as a BMW back then. Since then, though, the brand has been more focused on technological improvements and less on that tactile feel that made the brand so revered. However, the Bavarians are attempting to recapture that familiar feeling with this — the 2020 BMW M2 CS.

This is a car that’s been teased, hinted and spied for years now. It’s also a car that BMW fans have been impatiently waiting for ever since the standard M2 came to be. And now, it’s finally here. But let’s cut past the exposition and just jump right in. The all-new BMW M2 CS is the fastest, most hardcore, most pure-driving 2 Series variant yet and its sole purpose is to be a scalpel among machetes.

To make the M2 CS as scalpel sharp as possible, BMW needed to lighten it as much as possible. Which is actually more important than you might expect for an M2. The car that the 2020 BMW M2 CS is based on, the M2 Competition, is actually quite the porker for a car of its size, weighing in at about 3,500 lbs with a manual and about 3,600 lbs with a DCT auto. So for ‘CS’ duty, the BMW M2 went on a carbon fiber-heavy diet.

So it gets a carbon fiber hood, a carbon fiber front splitter and a new carbon fiber roof help drop the curb weight of the M2 CS significantly. The roof has also been made with a new sandwich design that not only decreases weight and lowers the car’s center of gravity but it also increases the car’s structural rigidity. Both dropping weight and adding stiffness are equally as important, more so even that the car’s power.

Further increasing that chassis stiffness and communication, new ball joints and elastomeric bearings have been added to the front and rear axles. This eliminates play in the axles and lateral forces.

Continuing the chassis work, the 2020 BMW M2 CS has been fitted with Adaptive M Suspension as standard, as well as M Sport brakes. The former was previously only available on the M4 and not the lesser M2 but the M2 CS gets it as standard kit. It gives the M2 CS the typical Comfort, Sport and Sport+ driving modes.

BMW M2 CS Exterior

The as-standard M Sport brakes aren’t carbon ceramics but they’re bigger than the standard M2 Competition’s, at 400mm up front (15.75-inch) and 380mm (14.96-inch ) out back. Calipers are six-piston up front and four-piston out back. What’s interesting is that the calipers on the BMW M2 CS are painted red, which is unusual for modern Bimmers, which get blue calipers as-standard with gold calipers indicating carbon ceramic brakes. Speaking of carbon ceramics, they’re available as an option on the M2 CS.

As for what those brakes actually stop, the BMW M2 CS gets some fresh new shoes. As-standard, the M2 CS gets 19-inch “Y-spoke” wheels that come in gloss black finish. Each front wheel weighs only 9 kg (about 20 lbs) and about 10 kg (22 lbs) out back, on the count of the rears being wider. If you’re feeling snazzy, you can opt for a matte gold finish for the wheels, a setup we tested earlier this year. However, those gold wheels in contrast with the new Misano Blue paint works very well. In fact, we’re wondering why Misano Blue wasn’t always an option for the M2.

Those 19-inch wheels are wrapped in ultra-sticky Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires that have specifically been designed for the BMW M2 CS. Just those tires alone should elevate the M2 CS above its standard sibling. Though, if customers prefer a less aggressive tire setup, which is a bit more usable on the road, Michelin Pilot Super Sports are available.

BMW M2 CS Engine

But let’s get to what you really want to know — power. Under the hood lies a modified version of the same S55 engine that powers the M2 Competition. In fact, it’s actually a similar variant of that engine that powered the M4 Competition Package. That means it’s a 3.0 liter twin-turbocharged I6 engine with 450 hp and 405 lb-ft of torque. According to BMW, the M2 CS can get fro 0-60 mph in 4.0 seconds flat with the optional seven-speed DCT and 4.2 seconds with a six-speed manual.

That’s right, Bimmer fans, the BMW M2 CS will come with a six-speed manual gearbox as-standard. So it’s not just designed to be a spec-sheet monster; a car that has great performance but not much fun. Instead, the BMW M2 CS is supposed to be about the purity of driving and the three-pedal ‘box is an encouraging sign of that.

Possibly the only complaint about that engine is its noise. Whether it’s in the BMW M3, M4 or M2, the S55 engine has never made a particularly good noise. It always just sort of sounded like generic engine noise. However the BMW M2 CS is fitted with a new, dual-branch stainless steel exhaust system with two different sound levels, which are worked into the drive modes. We’re hoping this car will sound better than the standard car on which it’s based.

When equipped with the DCT, there is also a transmission oil cooler. Three radiators, an oil cooler, two pumps in the oil pan, and an oil sump baffle are some of the mechanical upgrades of the M2 CS.

BMW M2 CS Interior

Inside, the BMW M2 CS feels as lightweight as it is. So it gets carbon fiber door pulls and door panel trim, as well as Alcantara everywhere and seemingly miles of contrast stitching. The center console is also made entirely of carbon fiber, which reduces weight by 50-percent over the standard car’s (around 6 lbs/2.7 kg). There’s also an uber-thick Alcantara steering wheel. For anyone that’s seen the interior of the BMW M4 CS, this will look very familiar. The M Competition seats are covered in black leather and Alcantara and feature the CS logo on the integrated headrests.

There is only one interior color and only four exterior colors: Alpine White, Misano Blue Metallic, Black Sapphire Metallic, and Hockenheim Silver Metallic.

Design Sketches

When it finally hits the road, the BMW M2 CS should be the most exciting M2 iteration yet. With its lightened curb weight, added power, increased chassis stiffness and communication and manual gearbox, the M2 CS could be the best hardcore Bimmer since the E46 M3 CSL. While it might not reach the dizzying heights of that car, there’s a good chance it’s the best-driving pure sports car to come from Bavaria since.

There are around 2,200 units produced globally but it’s unclear how many will make it to the United States. There is a 500 units number being thrown around by some magazines, but BMW says the numbers are not finalized.

North American pricing and ordering details will be announced closer to the 2020 BMW M2 CS’s launch in Spring 2020. In Germany, the 2020 BMW M2 CS is priced at 95,000 euros.

Specifications (all data is preliminary)

M2 CS ManualM2 CS DCT
Number of Doors22
Drive typeRWDRWD
Width including mirrorsinches78.378.3
Turning radiusfeet19.219.2
Ground clearanceInches4.64.6
Shoulder width frontinches54.454.4
Shoulder room rearinches53.453.4
Legroom frontinches41.541.5
Legroom rearinches3333
Headroom frontinches40.140.1
Headroom rearinches36.536.5
Trunk volumeft³13.813.8
Fuel Tank capacitygallons13.713.7
Curb weightlbs.tbatba
Gross vehicle weightlbs.tbatba
Engine typeS55S55
Valves per cylinder44
Bore x Strokemm84.0 x 89.684.0 x 89.6
Compression rate:110.210.2
Engine powerhp444 @ 6,250 rpm444 @ 6,250 rpm
Engine torquelb-ft.406 @ 2,350 – 5,500406 @ 2,350 – 5,500
Recommended FuelPremiumPremium
Engine oilQuarts7.47.4
Transmission type6-Speed manual7-Speed DCT
Gear ratios 1st gear4.114.81
Reverse gear3.463.46
Final drive ratio3.734.17
Power-steering typeEPSEPS
Steering ratio:1tbatba
Tires, standard, front / rear245/35ZR19 93Y 265/35ZR19 98Y245/35ZR19 93Y 265/35ZR19 98Y
Wheels, standard, front / rearinches9.0 x 19 / 10.0 x 199.0 x 19 / 10.0 x 19
Track, frontinches62.262.2
Rear, trackinches6363
0-60 mphseconds43.8
Top speedmph174174
Fuel Economy city/hwy/combmpgtbdtbd