Wednesday 21 March 2018

Racing debut for BMW’s M2 in California

BMW’s M2
BMW’s M2

John Galvin

BMW chose the race track at Laguna Seca in California as the launch venue for their new M2 Coupé.

With its compact dimensions and prodigious power, it inherits the mantle of some great M cars of the past. Purists might bemoan that it’s now turbocharged, but nobody can argue against 370bhp from the 3.0 litre straight-six engine.

It’s enough to give the M2 a 0-100kmh time of 4.3 seconds and a top speed limited to 250kmh.

We tried the M2 with the M DCT seven speed twin clutch gearbox on the track and it proved a formidable weapon. Even the best road cars can struggle on a circuit but the M2 was precise and controllable and inspired confidence with a balanced chassis and strong brakes.

Afterwards, we had the chance to try the manual version on the road. This six-speed unit was exceptionally easy to use, with a smooth throw and well chosen ratios.

The car automatically blips the throttle on down-changes, enhancing an already pleasing engine note.

Front seat passengers are well catered for with plenty of room and comfortable, supportive bucket seats.

Aluminium is used extensively in making the body, ensuring that the M2 is as light as possible to maximise performance.

While the scenery was spectacular as we drove down the Pacific Coast Highway, traffic was heavy enough that we couldn’t fully put the M2 through its paces, beyond noting that the point and squirt ability demonstrated on the track translated to a devastating overtaking punch when called upon.

Prices for the M2, which arrives in April, will start from €78,370.

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