Now that the new G87 M2 is here, all F87 M2 owners are going to be asking themselves whether they should trade their car in. Is this new M2 worth upgrading to? Obviously, I can’t answer that question for everyone. However, I can provide some insight as to what about the new M2 is likely to be an upgrade and what isn’t. So let’s take a look at the pros and cons of the new BMW M2 versus its beloved predecessor.
It has to start under the hood. We are talking about a brand that has “motor” in its name. The new BMW M2 uses the brand’s latest S58 engine, the same basic engine that powers the M3, M4, X3 M, and X4 M. For M2-duty, it’s been detuned a bit. Its 453 horsepower is 20 horses shy of the M3’s 473 horsepower but the M2 isn’t much lighter, so it’s going to be a bit slower. However, that S58 engine is, without question, a better engine than any of the F87’s engines.
When the G87 M2 first launched, it used an N55 3.0-liter single-turbo I6 with 365 horsepower but it wasn’t a proper M engine. Then, the M2 Competition replaced that car and its engine, switching to an S55 3.0-liter twin-turbo I6, with 406 horsepower. In the top-spec M2 CS, power was bumped to 444 horsepower.
That means this new M2 isn’t that much more powerful than the M2 CS but it is quite a bit more potent than the other two F87s. Power, though, doesn’t tell the whole story. The new S58 is just a far better engine. It makes its power in a more linear fashion, it’s smoother, it stays cooler, it’s more efficient, and—perhaps most importantly—it makes a better noise (even if it still doesn’t have a great exhaust note). So if you’re looking for an engine upgrade, the new G87 is certainly going to do that for you.
Like the F87, the G87 BMW M2 has two transmission options: a manual and an automatic. Unlike the F87, the automatic is an eight-speed ZF automatic. The older car used a seven-speed dual-clutch, which not only shifts faster but has far more character. Everything from its rapid-fire shift speed to its funny little shift lever made it feel unique, versus the sea of ZF8-equipped BMWs. While the new M2’s eight-speed auto is great, it certainly lacks some fun versus the old DCT. That said, if you drive a manual, very little has changed, so expect the exact same feel and action.
Having spent tons of time using all of the aforementioned transmissions, I wouldn’t say that any of them should be the deciding factor in your decision. They’re all good, so don’t choose your M2 based on its transmission.
This is going to be interesting. The G87’s chassis is far superior to that of the F87’s. It’s based on BMW’s latest CLAR architecture, it’s been given the same lightweight aluminum subframes as the G82 M4, it has more sophisticated kinematics, wider tires, and more advanced traction control software. However, the F87 is lighter, by up to a couple hundred pounds, depending on spec, it will have a purer steering setup (the new M2 will get a version of the G80’s variable rack which is more numb than a Novocain injection), and it features a shorter wheelbase.
We haven’t driven the production M2 yet but here’s what it’s likely going to come down to: if you want the better performing car, the new G87 M2 will likely run rings around the old car. If you want a purer, simpler experience, the F87 is probably the better bet. Obviously, our opinions may change after spending more time in the new M2 but taking the pre-production drives we’ve done and the extensive time we’ve spend in the M3 and M4, and extrapolating that out to the G87 BMW M2, this is my stand for now.
This is a no-brainer. If you like cabin tech, the new G87 M2 is the car for you. It has BMW’s latest iDrive 8, an all-digital gauge cluster, and two massive dashboard screens. The older F87 M2 still uses iDrive 7 and gets semi-analog gauges. Personally, I prefer the F87’s interior tech (or lack thereof), but techier customers will want the new car.
Here’s where things get interesting. The new BMW M2 is just that—an M2. There’s no Competition, CS, or CSL models. Yet. Those higher-performance models are inevitable and will debut in the coming years. So if you have the old F87 M2 Competition, or even the CS, you might want to wait to upgrade simply because you don’t want to drop down from a special model to a basic one. However, there’s no guarantee that the more special G87 models are as special as the old F87 ones.
Of course, there’s no way to know how those future G87 M2 models will be. However, I think it’s a safe bet that if you own an M2 CS, you should probably hold off upgrading until BMW at least releases some more info on a future M2 CS. The previous F87 M2 CS is one of the best M cars since the 1 Series M and far better to drive than any current M car. It’s a truly special machine that will continue to appreciate in value and is a car I wouldn’t recommend ditching until you can guarantee yourself something better and I’m not so sure the new M2 will be that. If you own an M2 Competition, go test drive the new one when it debuts and see which one you like more. But if you have the original M2, with the N55 engine, an upgrade is probably for the best.
Should I Upgrade?
Obviously, that choice is on you. If you have an F87 M2, the only way you can decided is to drive the new one when you can and make your decision from there. However, hopefully this article can provide the tools to help you make your decision.