This is the story of a familiar BMW M duckling that, when hatched two years ago, was ridiculed and ostracized because everyone perceived it as ugly. With its athletic proportions and muscular design features, the new G87 series M2 Coupe has sparked a design controversy, especially in contrast to its predecessor, which won a Red Dot Award in 2016. Eight years ago, the jury praised the car racing-inspired design elements for giving the BMW M2 Coupé its powerful, dynamic appearance.

In many ways, we can all say the same about the current iteration of the smallest member of the ///M family. Yet, the Red Dot Award jury looked in a different direction when the G87 was born. Many must have scratched their heads after they saw its horizontal grille strakes, unnecessary wheel spacing, and boxy sections on the front and rear bumpers, which stripped away any design delicacy from BMW’s favorite junior sportscar. Not fully understanding the direction the Germans from Garching had taken, the aftermarket world seems to have provided the answer in the form of numerous upgrades, allowing the duckling to transform into an impressive black swan.

A wide range of companies worldwide have begun to present and produce upgrade parts for the M2. From suspension kits to performance upgrades that deliver up to 700 hp, and from exhaust systems to wheel sets that improve not only the sound but, more importantly, the stance of the sportscar. Add to this a broad selection of carbon fiber add-ons and replacement parts, and you have a myriad of options to customize the vehicle to your liking.

M Performance Tuning

Even BMW themselves took a stab at offering aftermarket parts shortly after the vehicle’s launch. The well-known BMW M Performance parts are a common sight, featuring a range of carbon fiber add-ons for the front, sides, and rear, all finished with a clear coat that exposes the weave beneath. Besides this, you can choose from various wheel designs ranging from 19 to 21 inches, a coil-over suspension, and a distinct-looking titanium M Performance silencer system.

The great advantage of all the upgrades offered by BMW M Performance—and thus your own dealer—is that they come with a full warranty on both the installation and the parts fitted to the vehicle. However, those who have seen the final result may argue that, while the parts are an intriguing addition to what the car offers, they don’t fully realize its potential.

Lightweight Treatment by EDELWEISS Wheels

This is where the aftermarket specialists from EDELWEISS Wheels and Alpha-N Performance come into play, offering you, as the (future) owner of a new BMW M2 Coupe, the opportunity to create something truly unique. In many ways, a vehicle that should have rolled out of the new BMW factory in Mexico, not an aftermarket shop in Germany. Fortunately, specialists like EDELWEISS exist. With over ten years’ experience in the world of wheels and tires, and since 2020, the EDELWEISS brand has showcased its ability to produce and offer lightweight, concave, TÜV-certified wheels engineered in Germany.

The wheels are crafted using a hybrid process of flow forming and forging. Additional heat treatment strengthens the material, allowing EDELWEISS to design the spokes and barrels thinner and save weight. For the BMW M2 G87, the German specialist offers a variety of designs, finishes, and sizes. The wheels fitted to the “black swan” shown here are LT°5 wheels in a polished finish, measuring 20-inch front (10.5×20 ET14) and 21-inch rear (11×21 ET12). Interestingly, the weight factor is one of the most compelling, with the fronts only tipping in at 9.3 kg and the rears at 10.3 kg. The weight savings compared to the smaller standard M2 wheel (M930) is 3.3kg per front rim and 3.5kg per rim at the rear. The rims were shod in Michelin PS4 S tires, measuring 285/30 R20 and 305/25 R21. No spacers were needed, as the wheels are custom-made for the G8x series and fit every model in that series without any modifications.

The stance was further improved by a KW Suspension V3 system offering additional lowering, as well as adjustability in terms of damping. The setup enhances ride quality and handling but does take away the internal suspension control from the cabin, which the stock car offers out of the box.

Carbon Surplus by Alpha-N Performance

To enhance the soundtrack, an Akrapovic slip-on line titanium exhaust was fitted alongside a carbon tailpipe set, which fits perfectly inside the carbon rear diffuser, plus an underbody floor by Alpha-N Performance, who not only delivered these parts but supplied a plethora of other carbon goodies.

To understand more about Alpha-N and its background in the world of carbon fiber, it is essential to know that the Germans from Rheinbach, near the Nürburgring, have a team with many years of experience in the fields of sports car construction, composites, prototyping, tuning, and motorsport. Over the past years, the team has been a development supplier to BMW and part of the BMW 3.0 CSL project, which was released as a birthday present for 50 years of BMW M. They were responsible for the CFK components, which you will find on the limited series car.

Due to their long history in the world of carbon fiber, Alpha-N has the option to produce aftermarket parts that have a superior fit and finish, and are considered by many as the best aftermarket carbon fiber parts you can fit on any BMW vehicle today. Their quality is so high that the Germans are often copied by Chinese companies who believe they can offer the same, but direct comparison will show you the opposite. Therefore, be cautious about what you buy out there. You get what you pay for!

The manual G87 shown here is outfitted with a great selection of parts from the Alpha-N product list. You will spot a front spoiler, front grille, bonnet, and fenders with louvers at the front, all made out of the composite material. At the rear, there is a carbon wing, carbon diffuser, and underbody floor also made out of the same fibers. The finishing touch is found under the bonnet in the form of a carbon engine cover. The fit and finish of all are at a high quality. The parts sit flush and fit wonderfully to the standard bodywork of the M2. They also offer TÜV-certification, which is vital.

Be a Swan Comes at a Cost

With the whole list of upgrades having gone past our radars, you might ask; what does all of this cost? Let’s start with the wheels. Those start at a price for the 19/19″ setup in a standard finish and excluding tires at roughly 2,975€ incl. 19% VAT local sales tax in Germany. The polished wheels shown on the car are roughly 6,850€ incl. 19% VAT including tires, TMPS sensors, tire mounting, and balancing.

Add to this, the Akrapovic exhaust system which sets you back a total of 5,000€ for the slip-on system and 2,000€ for the special square tailpipes and the suspension kit from KW, which is a total of 2,920€. All including the local German sales tax.

However, this is not where the upgrades stop. The long list of carbon upgrades fitted to the black M2 featuring a total of eight products out of a list of roughly 30 different carbon upgrades available via Alpha-N make up for a hefty total of 22,328€ incl. 19% VAT.

By adding up all the upgrades, you will notice that you need to invest close to 40,000€ only in upgrades, and then those parts are not all installed by a professional yet. Those costs were left out of the calculation for now, similar to any shipping costs in case your vehicle isn’t located in the center of Europe, but somewhere else across the globe.

A True Black Swan Event

As you can see, the price to transform an ugly duckling into a menacing looking swan requires you to invest at least 50% of the value of the car. Some might say that is a bridge too far and I tend to agree, but the result is absolutely fantastic in comparison to what the base model has to offer. You could as well argue that some of the lines at the front and rear are still a sore to your eyes, but they are a lot less visible due to the immense presence of the wheels, the stance, and the carbon aero all around the vehicle.

The high impact of these changes, which under normal circumstances would have been difficult to predict, are in my opinion in retrospect an inevitable addition to what the M2 G87 has to offer. Where BMW themselves tries to get close to emphasizing its bold nature and design characteristics using their own M Performance parts, the combination and pure quality of the EDELWEISS wheels and Alpha-N carbon parts make for a package close to perfection presenting a total design that still won’t win a Red Dot Design award for pure BMW heritage design, but does embrace a level of Bimmer heritage and highly emphasizes the JDM-like nature inside its base model.

The black M2 Coupe by EDELWEISS presented here might well have been unexpected at its birth and therefore difficult to prepare for even after its received its upgrades, but it can now be rationalized with the benefit of hindsight as having been an unavoidable creation we should all have gotten from the start. [Photos provided by @MSCK64 on Instagram – Vincent Toth]