Ever since the launch of the M2 Competition last year, and with the eventual end of the F82 and F87 platforms on the inevitable horizon, we’ve kept our ear to the streets regarding what BMW could have in the works as far as performance range-topping models are concerned. Before the next generation of (likely xDrive-equipped) M cars is upon us, BMW is sure to give its current—and downright excellent—portfolio a fitting send off, with more specialized, higher-performing versions and editions of what’s currently for sale.
At least one potential M2 CS prototype has been captured being put through its paces at the performance testing epicenter of the world—the Nurburgring—but official news has been essentially non existent, as one might expect. Recently though, BMW dropped another clue, this time in the form of the M2 Competition Heritage Edition—a limited production version of the M2 created exclusively for the French market as an homage to what BMW refers to as the first post-war European car to use turbocharging, the 2002 Turbo.
Remember in 2016, when BMW released photos of the 2002 Homage and then followed up with the Turbomeister? Any discussion of a current model paying tribute to the revolutionary 2002 Turbo would be remiss without mention of what appeared to be an M2-based design, and the new M2 Heritage Edition appears to be the closest real-world embodiment BMW customers can actually purchase and enjoy on the road.
Before getting lost in what the limited-production M2 offshoot means in the grander scheme of things, it should be noted that all changes are merely visual, and that performance remains identical to that of any other standard M2 Competition that you can buy from your local BMW Center right now. The changes, however superficial one might write them off as, do appear to be a well-chosen set of enhancements though, that serve to differentiate the M2 Heritage Edition.
Although many of the visually-exclusive elements are cribbed directly from the M2 M Performance part catalog, the assortment, along with the model-specific graphics and other inscriptions, seem like the kind of array that would take an individual enthusiast a while to assemble on their own, while with the Heritage Edition, they come fitted from BMW. This first M2 Competition variant is still a far cry from the M2 M Performance Parts Concept that surfaced at last year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, but perhaps more importantly, it is the first special edition of the M2 that we’ve seen, and it could be a sign of things to come.
The M2 Competition Heritage Edition is dripping in carbon fiber. More specifically, the M Performance parts and accessories used are almost exclusively made of the material, with such pieces as side winglets, the kidney grille, mirror caps, front splitter, rear diffusor, rear spoiler, and exhaust tips all being made of it, either partially or entirely.
In addition to the lightweight bits added in volume, there are also specialized BMW Motorsport 2002 Turbo-inspired graphics present on the fenders, doors, and front bumper. Combine this with production sequence number inscriptions on the interior and exterior, along with the words Heritage Edition appearing in a few other places, and the new limited production M2 variant will be easy to differentiate from others.
Production will be limited to 40 cars, all of which will be sold exclusively in France. Pricing starts at €75,000, or approximately $84,000 at today’s exchange rates. Ignoring regional pricing differences, the premium for the M2 Competition Heritage Edition roughly equates to adding the array of M Performance parts, as the regular M2 Competition starts at €68,000 in France, or $76,000, compared to the base U.S. price of $58,900.
Although the M2 Competition Heritage Edition may be overlooked by many as just another special edition created by BMW for the purpose of driving sales, it more importantly marks the first M2 offshoot since the Competition model replaced the original and brought with it a detuned S55 engine. More than a few in the automotive news world are using the Heritage Edition as a catalyst for speculation that other, perhaps different and more performance-oriented versions of the M2 could be coming before the model signs off ahead of a new generation. We can’t wait.—Alex Tock
[Photos courtesy BMW AG.]