BEHIND THE WHEEL: BMW M2 Competition
MONDAY AUGUST 24, 2020
Everything that made the M2 not a real M car has been addressed with a competition package. Finally an M engine, M division seats, customisable M modes and on top of that 40 more horsepower to go with 85 more torques. It is surprising for the list to go on with M door wings, M wheels because it is not often BMW is this charitable with ingredients and that’s before we get to the Competition’s deafening exhaust. I find all this goodness for only five thousand dollar over the standard car being the bargain of the decade.
A taste of analogue
Limits beyond reach
3-litre straight six
410 hp 550Nm
7-speed twin clutch
Top speed: 250km/h
$ 104,900 AUD
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If you like that raw feeling of yesteryear BMWs or older cars, the M2 Competition certainly has that characteristic. The theme continues with manual handbrake, analogue gauges and thick steering wheel. Sitting inside is not lower than an average daily car which means it is not an all that special place to be in. At least, commuting in one isn’t an arm wrestle. Be it iDrive 6 or 7, they do more than you’ll ever ask for in a car while everything else is very much conventional.
It was almost dream-like where an M car that’s arguably within reach comes with a straight six engine. Furthermore, there’s been a BMW drought at my end so I was sure an M2C will be my next daily. For the sake of avoiding a rookie mistake when it comes to car buying, I gave one a go just to be sure.
While puttering out of the city in its manageable size onto less busy streets, the Competition feels the race car with a number plate description, almost Porsche 911 GT3-like. Its passive suspension is taut, just about daily-able or to some borderline crashy. Then again, did you expect differently? Even so, I wouldn’t describe it to be ridiculous.
As the road cleared, 7600 rpm came with no hesitation at the same time, the century sprint was accomplished before a full draw of breath. Acceleration was delivered in a brutal fashion and it was obvious that the M2C has plenty more to give. Trust me on this, things do not get old going about this process on repeat. I stopped for the reason that it makes people close their eyes from the sheer volume of pops and bangs coming out the back.
A button between the engine and the steering customisation has been blanked out is an eyesore to me. For being substantially less costly than an M3/M4, it is perfectly understandable to lose out on variable dampers and a carbon fibre roof. My real complaint for the car is that there’s now a generic trait across the company whereby that cold feeling can too be felt in a Mini Countryman. It could be down to how well insulated or rigid BMW products are now which at the end of the day does the car good with the tradeoff in emotion.
Response to steering input is immediate in the Competition. You can do the speed limit at every bend because that only tickles its limits and body roll does not exist in its dictionary. Knock-down in any mode, the double clutch box never hesitates and has yet to get caught sleeping when paddles are used. The M2C is always ready to pounce but on this side of the world, it is being seriously leashed. To fully enjoy this calibre of motoring, the track is the only place for everyone's safety.
This is likely the last analogue kind of car and back to the beginning where I mentioned BMW being charitable, it is probably their way of giving one last hurrah to the old school approach. If I were to stay here for good, the M2 Competition will be that very weekend toy. Driving a car this track-worthy to work is very much overkill but if it makes your journey that much more enjoyable, that alone is good enough.