TESTED 9.10.18, SNOWDONIA ON SALE NOW PRICE £49,805
It impressed us in Spain. Can it do the same on UK roads?
On the evidence of the launch event in Spain, the BMW M2 Competition is the M2 we’ve been waiting for. The original model, which you can no longer buy, was always a charming and entertaining sports coupé, but it was let down by a lack of body control and an occasionally bouncy ride quality. BMW hopes a front strut brace, retuned steering, a number of rose joints in the rear suspension and revised spring and damper rates will make the M2 Competition altogether better to drive than the old M2.
Those revised suspension settings do make for a tighter ride quality at low speed around town, but in every other respect, they are a huge step forward. Even on a bumpier road at higher speed, there’s enough sophistication in the damping that the wheels can rise and fall individually over the shape of the road without the body being skipped or jolted about. The M2 Competition is now so settled and composed on the kind of road that upset the old M2 that it feels like an entirely new car rather than an updated one.
Body control over crests and undulations, meanwhile, has been improved hugely. The steering is keener and more intuitive, too, all of which means you drive along a winding road with a level of confidence that the M2 driver could only dream of.
The M2 Competition would be a massive step on from the M2 even if the old engine had been carried over unchanged. The twin-turbocharged motor is more responsive in the lower reaches and there is good energy towards the top end, but its soundtrack is more monotonous and it doesn’t suddenly make the car feel much more accelerative in a straight line.
It used to be the case that the M2 was the circa-£50,000 sports coupé of choice for people who needed more space than was offered by a Porsche 718 Cayman S, but the M2 Competition is now so good to drive that it would stand toe to toe with its supremely talented rival even if it didn’t have rear seats.
Engine 6 cyls, 2963cc, twin-turbo, petrol|
Power 404bhp at 5250-7000rpm
Torque 405lb ft at 2350-5200rpm
Gearbox 7-spd dual-clutch automatic
Kerb weight 1625kg
Top speed 155mph (limited)
CO2, tax band 227g/km, 37%
Rivals Alpine A110 ,Porsche 718 Cayman S