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First Road Trip 2016 BMW M2 Coupe By Henny Hemmes +VIDEO

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Prepared for speed

By Henny Hemmes
Senior European Editor
The Auto Channel

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Monterey, February 18, 2016. Did you see the video….? No, no, this was not me! BMW had it produced and I do not even know what is reality and what not. But the new M2 is surely capable to perform like this!

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As a professional driver, I could drive like that, but rather would not on the streets. And please don’t you try it either. You’ll probably end up in the police station, that is, if you are lucky..

Colleague Ian tried to make things up and have me pay a ticket by showing his (real) Singapore Police badge. No way, I behaved!

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When we started our drive with the first M2 on public roads after our ‘M2 track test’ at Mazda Speedway Laguna Seca;, we both had a civilized mind set and focused on road behavior of the brand new M-car.

In the model that we drove at the race track, the motor worked together with the optional 7-speed double clutch transmission (DCT) with Drivelogic (3 driving modes), launch control, gradient assistant and hill detection as well as low speed assistant. Since there are still a lot of enthusiasts who prefer to shift manually, BMW offers the M2, just like the M3/M4, with a 6-speed gearbox, which was the one we took for our road trip.

Heart beat

Even if we would not have had the track experience yet, I would instantly have fallen in love with the compact high-performance coupe.

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It looks as potential as it is and inside, the blue contrast stitching matches the exterior paint, one of my favorite colors. The sport seats give excellent support and the dark interior is no distraction at all.

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Business as usual, like in other M models. But love is more than looks and feel. It is about the driving experience and this time, also on the road, the M2 is absolutely great.

The rear wheel drive, the precise steering, the engine power all add to an extra heart beat, as well as the winding roads near Monterey.

Shifting the manual transmission goes naturally, without thinking. The shifts are short and direct and the clutch pedal is firm but not too heavy. Throttle and brake pedal are close enough for operating them with one foot at the same time, something that is called ‘heel & toe’ in race terms. When you often drive a fast car with a stick shift, it can become a habit, but it is not really necessary to use this technique in the BMW M.

The M-engineers have applied a speed control function that blip-blips when you shift down and at the same time lowers the engine revs when shifting up. It should also make gear changes smoother and provide extra stability during hard driving on a track. I think the blips are a bit overdone, but I bet that lots of drivers love it.

Driving fun

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The M2 has two settings, Comfort and Sport/Sport+, which you select by pressing the Driving Experience control switch. This adjusts the degree of steering power assistance. When the Sport mode is engaged via the iDrive controller, the engine and steering settings can be stored in Sport mode, both separately or as a combination. The brakes were already very good under-pressure at the race track and in normal traffic you realize even better how quickly the M2 can come to a stop.

The suspension is well set up to deal with bad roads and speed bumps and when we ask the car to match a dynamic driving style, it does so without hesitation and without body roll. You may linger to take the M2 to the race track, but it also offers a lot of driving fun on not too busy open roads.

Manual or DCT?

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The M2 has extensive standard equipment, such as leather sport seats, cruise control, navigation system and park-assist. As I said earlier, the 7-speed dual clutch transmission is an option, and with an additional $ it is not cheap. Both transmissions have BMW’s Active M differential, that controls wheel spin.

Would I order the DTC transmission? If I would have the extra $ 2,900 available, yes! Even though I like a manual, and especially the purists M driver would do so, the automatic is brilliant and shifting with the paddles at the steering wheel is as fun and easy as it is with the stick.

A nice advantage is the somewhat lower fuel consumption of the DTC transmission. It may be less relevant today, but when gas prices rise again, it is always welcome to be able to drive 2.7 miles longer on one gallon.

The new M-model is expected to arrive at dealerships in April.

Technical Details BMW M2 Coupe

Engine: 6-cyl. turbocharged. Capacity: 2,979 cc. Power: 272 kW/3760 hp @
6,5000 rpm. Torque: 465 Nm/343 lb-ft @ 1,400-5,560 rpm.  (369 lb-ft. with
Transmission: 6-speed manual 
Tyres fr/rr: 245/35 ZR19 – 265/35/ZR19
Acceleration 0-62 mph (100 km/h):4.5 sec. 
Top speed: 155 mph/250 km/h.
Fuel cons. average (Eu cycle): 8.5 liter/100 km, or 27.03 mpg.	
CO2-emission 199 g/km.
Price: from $ 52,695 (MSRP).

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