The worst kept secret in BMW’s recent history has finally seen the light of day. This my friends is the new BMW M2 Competition. It’s based on my car, the M2 LCI, and as the name suggest it features a bunch of changes to enhance its performance. So without further ado, let’s just run through the changes.
Watch my ‘Living with an BMW M2’ video series below
Engine and powertrain
And the biggest change is under the bonnet. Because the N55 engine of the facelift can’t handle the new emission regulations, BMW decided to remove it from the car and replace it with a detuned S55 engine. The same one you can find in the M3 and M4. And along with the engine, the new M2 Competition also gets the cooling system from the M4 and that very cool looking CFRP strut brace.
The engine produces 410hp and 550Nm of torque. And before you go WOW, that’s a lot. It is but the M2 Competition is only 0.1s faster to 100km/h than the current car. 4.4 seconds for the manual transmission and 4.2 for the DCT. And that’s because all that M4 goodness that’s been brought in, meaning the engine and cooling have made the M2 Competition heavier. So yeah, it’s not going to feel that much faster, but it’s going to have a lot more tuning potential.
Other performance or chassis changes are subtle and they mostly involve just small tweaks and not the addition of new parts. The steering rack, the Active M Differential and the DSC have been tweaked for the new M2 Competition. And if we really have to give BMW credit for something well then let’s give them credit for continuing to offer the M2 Competition with a manual transmission. Kudos for that.
Moving on to the exterior we now have a bigger kidney grille, blacked out now, which for some reason is now a one piece grille instead of two and the lower part of the front bumper has also been modified. It looks more aggressive, it features bigger air intakes to help with cooling and it also features front parking sensors. You know them, it’s the same sensors that BMW said they can’t be fitted to the regular M2 because of the complexity of the front bumper. But somehow in this even more complex bumper they seem to work just fine 😉
On the side of the car, we have blacked out M2 fake side vents, M3 style wing mirrors, new 19” wheels that are gorgeous and new and bigger M sport brakes that come with silver brake callipers.
The new specially developed exhaust system for the M2 Competition pops out even more than the old one and it also has two twin tail-pipes painted in glossy black. Then we have the new M2 Competition logo and finally BMW has added two more colour options for the car. There’s this quite cool Hockenheim Silver in which the car was presented to the world and then we have Valencia Orange making a comeback. That’s the original launch colour of the 1M.
That’s kind of it as far as the exterior in concerned. Everything else is pretty much the same as it is on the facelift version. Let’s jump on the inside.
And once you’re in you’re greeted with these awesome looking new bucket seats. They’re similar to the ones you’d find inside an M4, they have an illuminated M2 logo on them and depending on your preference you can have them with blue or orange highlights. I think these seats are a massive and a much needed upgrade for the M2 and what I’m curios to see is if the drivers seat is still crooked and how low in the car these seats allow you to go.
Because I really think this is one of the downsides to the actual M2. The driving position in this car is higher than the one in a 3 series with the same seats for example.
But other than the new seats not much has changed. You do get the M1 and M2 buttons on the steering wheel and you can now adjust the steering and engine characteristics independently and store them to each of the buttons. And a red started button of course, but that’s kind of it.
This is the new M2 Competition. I really like the car. I think it looks mega, especially in this Silver colour and with the new wheels and all the gloss black elements. I even like the new kidney grill as well. I definitely like the new Seats, those are by far my favourite feature of the new car.
But am I going to sell my car and upgrade to the new M2 Competition?
This is a question that I’ve received quite a lot in the past few days and well, to be honest with you guys, I’m not really sure I want to do that right now. And let me explain why.
The engine issue…
First, it’s because of the engine and I’m not taking about power here, I’m talking about sound. This being the M4 engine it will most likely sound like an M4 and well, I just don’t like it. I’m sorry to all M4 owners that might be reading this article but for me, the M4 soundtrack just doesn’t cut it.
Before I bought the M2 that I’m currently driving I also explored other options. One of those options was a used M4 that was roughly the same price. I drove it for a couple of hours but I just didn’t feel it. I don’t know, I just feel the M2’s exhaust has more character. It sounds angrier, it has a lot more base to it and I don’t know about you but for me, how a car sounds is very very important.
And considering the fact that the M2 Competition is not significantly faster than my car, for me, buying an M2 Competition is actually a downgrade. Now before you guys start hating on me, I know the S55 engine has a lot more tuning potential and you can easily take it to 500hp or more, but that’s not the point here.
No suspension upgrade. Really BMW?!
The second reason why I’m not sure about the M2 Competition is well, the lack of the adaptive suspension system. I like cars with firm suspension but on a bumpy B-road the M2 with the current suspension system just jumps around too much and I think it would really benefit from a more comfortable suspension setting. So yeah, no upgrades here either.
The new upgrades don’t come cheap
And finally, the third reason why I don’t think I’ll sell my car soon is the fact that every single thing I love about the M2 Competition is an optional extra. The seats, the brakes and the new wheels are all options. As standard the only new things that the M2 Competition will bring to the table is the engine and cooling system, the new exhaust and the new front-end design.
And considering the base price will also increase by a bit, after you’ve added the wheels, brakes and seats you’ll be looking at about a 10% price increase for a properly optioned BMW M2 Competition. And I don’t know about you but for me that’s a lot of money.
So yeah, so far there’s no reason for me to upgrade. I like my BMW M2 LCI as it is right now, I love how it drives, I love how it looks and well I kind of love everything about it if I’m honest 🙂
I haven’t said a definitive no to the upgrade idea but unlike the M2 LCI, where I just went it and ordered the car without even driving it (that’s how much I’ve loved it), if I were to buy the M2 Competition, I would definitely want to drive it first.
The 50:50 weight balance has gone, the sound will not be as good and well, the price is a bit steep because I really want those seats and those brakes at least.
But anyway guys. This is my take on the M2 Competition. A hard decision for an M2 owner but a no brainer for new customers. But don’t forget to tell me your thoughts on the car in the comment section below.
Pictures from BMW Group’s Press Office