It’s only been a few weeks since the new M2 Competition was announced, but BMW hasn’t let up in terms of enticing potential buyers. Along with an in-detail video posted on the BMW M YouTube channel and an exhaust-note clip that surfaced, a full array of M Performance parts has also been revealed—and they’re available as Original BMW Accessories.
Increased front-end righty, tightened steering, and the high-strung S55 engine from the current M3 and M4 all come together to make the M2 Competition a serious contender over the model it’s slated to replace. But if the revised running gear and other additions just aren’t enough for you, BMW has just announced a substantial collection of lust-worthy M Performance parts that seem capable of transforming the entire car.
The venerable TwinPower Turbo N55 six being supplanted by the S55 in the M2 Competition is one of the most important elements of the refreshed model. Although the initial iteration of the M2 was sometimes criticized for its power plant, the exhaust note of the N55 seems to have remained the enthusiasts’ choice in comparison with the more precise and almost muted soundtrack of the S55. We’ll delve deeper into the reasoning behind the engine change and specifics of the M2’s specifics S55 sound later, but first it’s time to talk about what’s likely to be the most popular M Performance part for the M2 Competition: the exhaust. Constructed partially of titanium, the quad exit system features twin electronically actuated flaps which work in conjunction with the different drivetrain modes; 93-millimeter tailpipes wear a nice set of aggressive-looking finishers, while the muffler itself displays the M Performance logo. Added aural effects aren’t the only benefit; the system also saves nearly eighteen pounds over the factory design.
An adjustable coil-over suspension will also be available. It’s capable of lowering factory ride height up to twenty millimeters, while damping and rebound have a total of twelve and sixteen settings respectively. Reduced roll tendency and a high degree of neutral driving response are among highlighted benefits, while the system looks great with red-painted springs, yellow bump stops, and blue adjustment rings. We look forward to learning more about how the system alters road feel, and finding out later this year who manufactures these components.
The F87 M2 that debuted for the 2016 model year uses an M-compound braking system with four-piston front calipers gripping 380-millimeter rotors, and two-piston calipers clamping down on 370-millimeter rotors in the rear. The new M Sport brakes on the M2 Competition have been enlarged with more pistons, and offer six-pot calipers mated to 400-millimeter rotors in the front, while the rear benefits from rotors that measure 380 millimeters bound by four-piston calipers. BMW M Sport Brake System Red now offers a third, ultimate tier of stopping power: internally ventilated and perforated rotors are paired with aluminum front six-piston calipers, while a long-distance, race-derived pad compound is used all around.
The above photo of the brake setup also a does a nice job of showing off some of the carbon fiber body trim pieces that are part of the catalog. But contrary with years and platforms of the past, the sum of the new offerings amounts to substantial weight savings. The soon-to-be available carbon fiber hood reduces axle load by nearly twenty pounds, while the M Performance roof sheds eleven pounds in one of the most important areas of the vehicle. Beyond the choice of an aggressive wing or more subtle trunk lid lip, the carbon fiber treatment can also be extended to the rear end in the form of an M Performance tailgate, which tips the scales at thirteen pounds fewer than the factory component. Other items include front splitters and side skirt winglets, while the fender gills look pretty sharp too.
The interior hasn’t been officially highlighted yet, but two different M Performance steering wheels have been announced. The wheels follow the same basic design language that first debuted with what were then referred to simply as BMW Performance parts for the E82 135i and E9X M3. Alcantara is the chosen covering for both wheels, while one of the models features a race display situated on the upper portion of the rim which offers different readouts depending on which drive modes are selected, while a shift light is also mentioned.
The M2 Competition debuted wearing an aggressive and eye-catching set of wheels, but a toned-down and lightened set now joins lineup via the M Performance Parts collection. Shedding over seven pounds of unsprung mass, the nineteen-inch set of style 763 M Y-spoke wheels look like an excellent track-oriented choice, especially when wrapped in optional Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 rubber.
While the M Performance Parts are stealing the show, it’s easy to forget about the details that separate the garden-variety M2 and the new M2 Competition, the latter of which will be in the hands of journalists before long. Prior to the guaranteed array of first-drives and road tests being published, BMW dispatched a few professionals, racing driver Cyndie Allemann and Product Trainer Ede Weihretter, to provide a more in-depth and hands-on demonstration. The five minute video does an excellent job of hitting all of the important points, while also giving viewers a different perspective than the gorgeous press photos that have been circulating. Various improved and enhanced drive technologies serve as highlights, while the car is also thrashed around a bit—showing off its exhaust and wide rear Michelins.
Last up is an exhaust clip that has also been making the rounds. Although a bit muffled, the brief recording, which has been melded together with an official video of the new model, reveals a distinctly different tone than we’d been accustomed to hearing emanate from S55-powered BMW cars. In addition to a burbling overrun sound with cracks and pops that are nothing short of seducing, there’s a certain race-derived, high-strung particularity to the exhaust sound with the engine under load. On a slightly different but still relevant subject, it’s being reported that the powertrain switch from the N55, which is approaching a decade since its launch, to the S55, was strongly influenced by emissions legalization. New testing procedures for fuel economy and carbon emissions have effectively put the final nail in the coffin for the N55, which was already being phased in favor of the modular B58 starting in 2016. One final engine note in that vein includes what could be the S58, the rumored M specific replacement for the S55 which could potentially debut in the upcoming X3 M.—Alex Tock
[Photos and video courtesy of BMW AG.]