BMW Announces Reinvigorated 2019 M2 Competition
If the BMW M2 were a person it would be everybody's friend. It's the type of car that would bring a pack of high-quality IPAs to house parties for people who love beers. And another pack of Cream Sodas for people who don't. It would always return meet-up inquiries with a firm confirmation. It would never refuse to give you a ride to the airport. And it will always look good in group selfie photos. So what happens, then, if BMW were to take the M2 back and attempt to build you a better friend?
Since its introduction in 2016 the BMW M2 has won over the hearts and minds of many automotive enthusiasts. Its lightweight, nimble chassis is adored for its ability to grip or slide at the whim of the driver. Its 3.0-liter N55 straight-six engine delivered 365 horsepower and 343 lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels. Cradled with a dual-clutch transmission, the 3,500 lb coupe can surge from zero-to-100 kmh in a mere 4.5 seconds. And, if the driver so desired, it could come with a 6-speed manual. It was a home-run recipe for a fun all-around driving companion.
The 2019 BMW M2 Competition is both a refresh and a replacement for the current M2 Coupé. Its introduction marks compulsory updates to its visual design, powertrain, drivetrain, and interior.
M is for Many Horsepowers
The most prominent change for the M2 Competition is its engine. The first iteration M2 used an N55-derived engine, which is essentially a faster version of the engine seen in cars like the BMW 340i or M235i. M2 Competitions use an S55-derived engine which is better thought of as a slower version of engine used in the higher-performing BMW M3 or M4. The S55 mounted in the 2019 M2 Competition is a 3.0-liter inline-six producing 405 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque. It features two monoscroll turbos, forged crankshaft, M4-style oil cooling, a new secondary oil pump, transmission oil cooler (DCT only), and sprayed low-friction cylinder walls.
Since both the engine and turbos were changed, you can't expect the M2 Competition to provide the same power band. Peak horsepower for the M2 Competition ranges from 5,230 to 7,000 rpm while peak torque sits in the 2,350 to 5,230 rpm range. For the old N55, peak torque started at only 1,450 so some expectations should be adjusted. It's doubtful the larger monoscroll units will have a noticeable impact on turbo lag versus its smaller twin-scroll turbos but it's something to keep in mind.
More power, however, is pretty much always a good thing. Equip the M2 Competition with a 7-speed dual-clutch and you'll launch from zero-to-100 kmh in 4.2 seconds. Equip it with a 6-speed manual and the M2 Competition will do the same in 4.4 seconds. Both transmissions top out at 155 mph unless you order an optional M Driver's Package raising its top speed to 174 mph.
M is for More Cornering Control
Complimenting the M2's new powerhouse is its upgraded chassis and suspension components. The M2 continues to use strut front with rear multi-link geometry though BMW now implements forged aluminum links at the rear end. These links are lightweight and mounted to a new grid-type rear subframe for improved wheel stability and placement. Transverse forces are delivered through stiffer ball joints replacing rubber bushings
Control freaks will enjoy a retuned stability control and rear active M differential offering greater degrees of customization. Stability control can't be disabled completely but BMW says in settings like Sport+ it will be less intrusive when it comes to intervening during wheel spin. Its rear differential, however, can be set from 0 to 100 percent lock or any range in between as set by the driver.
Standard drivetrain parts include 4-piston front with 2-piston rear fixed brake calipers, 380mm and 370mm ventilated cast iron discs, 245/35 R19 and 265/35 R19 Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires, and 19-inch Y-spoke forged wheels. An optional M Sport Brake package upgrades the braking system to 6- and 4-piston calipers with discs sized 400mm and 380mm. All M2 Competitions also gain a new dual exhaust with active flap control, M3/M4-style carbon fiber engine bay strut (increasing front end rigidity), and larger kidney grilles for increased airflow.
The M2 Competition's cabin is similar to the 2016 model with a few added gadgets. These additions involve a new M steering wheel (With drive mode buttons), new M Sport seating, and new buttons next to the gear lever that quickly switch through its different drive modes, steering modes, and stability control. Daily driving is enhanced with assistive features like throttle blipping for manuals, standard navigation, standard rear-view camera, collision warning, lane departure warning, and traffic sign recognition.
If we were to take a guess we'd say the 2019 M2 Competition will be just as lovable as its 2016 predecessor. It's more rigid, packs more features, and looks even better. But, like all BMW M cars, you have to pay to play. M2 Coupe models start at $54,500 and run up to $59,845 after a $1,550 Executive package (Adaptive LED headlights, heated steering wheel, Wifi, rear park assist), $300 Apple CarPlay option and $2,500 M Driver's Package. Throwing in a dual-clutch is an additional $2,900. Also, for a while after its release, there was an 8+ month waiting period when ordered new. You can expect the 2019 M2 Competition to have slightly higher pricing and a similar purchasing wait time. Hey, you're not the only one looking for a friend.
Sales for the 2019 BMW M2 Competition are slated to begin summer 2018.