Toss out some streamers and pop the champagne: the most staunchly traditional M-machine from BMW has just grown even more potent, visceral, and enticing. Dubbed the M2 Competition, this automotive Frankenstein mates the twin-turbocharged inline-six engine heart of the larger M3 and M4 models with the svelte body of the M2. The result is a 405-horsepower German gazelle that can easily parlay even the most technical tracks and mountain roads. In the perennial battle of driver versus asphalt, the new 2019 BMW M2 Competition makes for a mighty fine weapon.
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2019 BMW M2 Overview
What's New for 2019
The M2 has undergone a major refresh for 2019. The biggest update is the new engine plucked from the larger M3 and M4 models. Though it's been slightly detuned for this application, the 405 horses and 406 pound-feet of torque produced by the 3.0-liter twin-turbo six-cylinder are a marked improvement over the 2018's 365 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. The new motor is paired with a cooling system also pulled from the M3 and M4 models, and the oil delivery system has been lifted directly from motorsport.
Other less exciting changes include newly-standard features like Park Distance Control and Active Driving Assistant. The latter is BMW's suite of active-safety features, and includes forward collision warning, city collision mitigation, lane departure warning, and driver alert.
You can't fully revitalize yourself without some fresh threads, so the M2 now wears new gloss-black trim, new larger grilles within the front fascia to aid cooling, and new 19-inch Y-spoke wheels.
Choosing Your BMW M2
The M2 Competition has usurped the old M2 entirely, meaning that all M2s will be receiving that tasty new twin-turbo inline-six. It can be bolted up to either a six-speed manual, or, if shifting gears isn't your thing, an optional dual-clutch automatic with seven cogs. While the manual comes standard with rev-matching technology for both upshifts and downshifts and is the lighter of the two transmissions, it simply can't keep up with the faster and more precise dual-clutch. Zero-to-60 mph for the three-pedal car comes in 4.2 seconds, trailing the automatic by 0.2 seconds. The dual-clutch comes with launch control as well as three preset driving modes ranging from comfort-oriented to track-ready. Of course, there's also paddle shifters hiding behind the steering wheel in case you do want to take back some control.
To let the car handle the newfound power it's been bestowed with, engineers have gone through the M2's supporting hardware with a fine-tooth comb. The electro-mechanical steering now gives the driver the freedom to adjust power-steering assistance through the Drivelogic software. The rear suspension boasts a new multilink design to better place the BMW's rear end when things get bumpy.
Speaking of rear end, the rear differential – in BMW-speak, the Active M Differential – has been recalibrated for more immediate response. It can analyze the traction at the rear wheels and adjust power delivery accordingly, all in under 150 milliseconds. And as for the stability control, that most prudent electronic nanny, it's been dialed back to allow for more understeer or oversteer, which means more tail-happy shenanigans are now possible.
Inside, there's new 14-way power-adjustable bucket seats that are heavily bolstered and inspired by the demands of motorsport. Headrests are integrated with the backrest; an embossed, illuminating M2 logo on the backrest is a nifty touch. Carbon fiber abounds on the dash and door panels, and the seats themselves are upholstered in black leather with either orange or blue stitching. A Harmon-Kardon stereo with 12 speakers and 360 total watts of output provides the soundtrack for when you don't want to hear the dual exhuast. Other creature comforts include three-stage heated front seats, rain-sensing wipers, automatic climate control, memory settings for the seats, mirrors, radio, and climate control, keyless entry, and ambient lighting.
Top speed for the standard M2 Competition is 155 mph, but opting for the $2,500 M Sport Package raises that to 174. It also includes a day of high-performance driving instruction at the BMW Performance Center, letting you really wrangle all of those 405 horses in a safe and controlled environment.
The $1,200 Executive Package includes adaptive front LED headlights with automatic high-beams, speed limit information, an onboard WiFi hotspot, a heated steering wheel, and wireless charging. A $1,050 moonroof and the $2,900 dual-clutch automatic transmission round out the options. If you want any color but white, expect to pony up $550.
The 2019 M2 Competition starts at $59,895, including a $995 destination charge. This represents a $4,400 upcharge over the 2018 model, but that only looks expensive when considered in a vacuum. After all, that price hike includes the new and significantly more powerful motor, the race-bred cooling and oiling systems, more standard features, and the upgraded suspension, brakes, transmissions, and electronics. Considering that the cooling system alone is a $4,750 option on the M3, the 2019 pricing for the M2 Competition looks like a bargain.
This is one of those rare cars in which there's really no need to opt for any of the available options. The 2019 BMW M2 Competition comes with everything you need to make mincemeat out of road courses or canyon twisties, and is a well-equipped and totally capable automobile right out of the box.