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BMW M2: Mexican athlete with 450 hp

With the generational change, the new M2 adopts the technology of the M4, including both transmission variants, but is now being built in Mexico instead of Leipzig. performance? About 450 hp. test track? Salzburg ring.

So now the time has come: the slightly larger M2 now towers over the E46 series M3 coupe (1998 to 2006) in all directions, not by much, but it feels even more robust. Decisive parallels exist with the current M3 / M4, whose technology is adopted by the new M2 (G87). This applies to the chassis and engine, the Brake-by-Wire braking system and the wheels – xDrive, on the other hand, will not exist.

BMW

Under the felt: the i4 / iX’s dual curved monitor – the one on the right shows the details of the driving mode, for example.

In the current development phase, M GmbH reveals only some precise data. So it only says about the performance: “at M2-CS level”, or about 450 hp. The carriageways are almost the same as the M4, but the wheelbase is 11 centimeters shorter. This is 2,747mm and is 54mm more than that of the predecessor M2. Compared to the M4, the springs are somewhat stiffer at the front and softer at the rear, combined with the shock absorbers of the upcoming M3 Touring, which develop higher damping forces.

BMW M2

BMW

Among other things, the touchscreen shows tire pressure and driving mode details.

The Michelin Pilot Sport 4S for the new M2 are classified in efficiency class C, which indicates a lower level of grip due to the E classification of the previous tires. However, the tires are now much wider and an inch larger at the rear, and the difference in width between the front and rear axles has been reduced from 20 to 10mm: 245/45 R19 and 265/45 R19 versus 275 / 35 R19 and 285/30 R20 (standard equipment: 18 and 19 inches).


“to grow up”

In any case, the Pellen grips strongly in the long right-hand corners of the Salzburgring, which are clearly perceived at the steering, including the limit of liability. The front axle also keeps the M2 neatly in line when you have to swerve in the two chicanes – strictly speaking, you can pull the steering wheel a little without losing driving stability. Plus, it appears to have a lot more traction than its predecessor and usually keeps the rear on track when exiting corners, despite the full throttle at the start.

BMW M2

BMW

The 50 year M logo is available as an option for a limited time.

It feels much more neutral than the old M2 Competition (or CS), which constantly pushes the rear outward without much prompts. M people describe the new vehicle as “more mature”, not least because it is said to be “less sensitive to interference” when driving over bumps. For drifts, they promise a further increase in accuracy with smoother yaw acceleration – this can also be understood as “less playful”. In any case, the increased driving stability should lead to faster lap times, especially with sports tires (Pilot Sport Cup 2, not fitted to the test cars). Mind you, impressions are based on six laps of the high-speed Austrian circuit, which offers little variety of corners. It therefore remains to be seen how the M2 behaves on winding paths and especially on country roads.


The manual switch is retained

What is certain is that the three-liter in-line six (S58) puts enormous pressure on a continuous attack. The digital speedometer adopted by the i4 marks 240 km / h extremely quickly. Attached to the twin-turbo engine is a quick-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission (formerly: dual-clutch transmission) or a six-speed manual transmission that requires no high actuation forces on either the clutch pedal or the gear lever. It is now possible to set the automatic automatic disengagement function without the previous connection to ESP mode. Also a welcome addition to the M4: the ten-level traction control.

BMW M2

BMW

With high cheeks, the shells hold up much better than the stock seats.

We haven’t been able to test the high-speed hatz yet, how specifically the hand switch version manages to transition from mid-range to low speeds. It would be particularly useful to know why the M4 manual (480hp) initially gets stuck in the turbo lag area in the hairpin bends due to the long shift of second gear before it really charges.


BMW M2

BMW

The pads on the rear wheels are each 3 cm wider than the two series.

The upgrade to the M4 braking system is undoubtedly promising, because in the old M2 the pedal travel quickly becomes longer and softer on some circuits (eg Hockenheimring). This cannot happen with the new Brake-by-Wire system, as the brake pedal only sends a signal to a control unit, which instructs an actuator to perform the desired deceleration. Since the pedal feel does not change when the brakes overheat, the instrument cluster warns of this, which does not happen on the Salzburgring in the three laps per transmission variant. Based on the price of an M240i, which has increased by as much as 5,000 euros with the generation change, we can warn that the M2, which will be launched in April 2023, will probably cost as much as 70,000 euros.


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Conclusion

Plenty of grip with significantly wider tires, a more neutral stance than before and a 450hp version of the M4 engine make the new M2 stand out in the first test drive. It remains exciting to see how he will perform on the mainland and on the Hockenheimring. Really cool thing: the BMW M sticks to the manual gearbox as an alternative to the sports automatic.

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