Seven reasons you should be excited about the BMW M2

The latest offering from the Bavarian marque’s storied M division is finally here; BMW’s entry-level turbo tearaway is one of the most eagerly-anticipated cars that it’s released in recent years.

Representing nothing less than the essence of BMW’s ‘Ultimate Driving Machine’ tagline, the M2 Coupe is a compact two-door coupe with classic German design cranked up to 11, and the power to match.

It won’t start to appear in British driveways until next April at the earliest, but in the meantime here’s seven damn good reasons why you should be excited about it.

1. It’s a back-to-basics M car

Performance fans have been starting to worry that the M badge has become at risk of drowning in a sea of crossovers and Gran Coupes.

Fear no longer, for the M2 represents a return to the days when M stood not for ‘marketing’, but as a signal to all drivers that this is a red-blooded purist-mobile with hairs on its chest and balls of solid brass.

The 2 Series is already a great car, with good looks, an agile drive and plenty of power. Now that it comes with the full-bore M treatment, a 365bhp 3.0-litre turbo six, and not as much of the techno-fudgery as the latest M3, this could be the rawest, most unsullied M car in recent years.

2. It comes from a good family

You’ll hear a lot of comparisons between the new M2 and the original 1 Series M Coupe, but in truth the M2’s bloodline can be traced much further back, past the original E30 M3, to the 2002 Turbo from 1973.

Did it wear an M badge? Well, no, but the 2002 Turbo was arguably the origin point for the M2’s small but scrappy personality. Europe’s first turbocharged production car produced a full 170bhp even back then and, coupled with extremely light construction, the result was a downright nasty little coupe that genuinely frightened the public.

Complete with a huge front splitter and widened arch extensions, it’s easy to draw parallels between the raucous 2002 Turbo and the modern M2.

3. Manual or auto, you decide

Earlier this year, the CEO of BMW M sparked worry amongst performance fans when he said that future M-badged models won’t have manual gearboxes thanks to flagging sales.

No need to start to sweat it however, as the M2 comes complete with a six-speed stick as standard, but there’s also the option of a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox for around £2,000 more, if you want it.

Lifted straight from the M4, it’s got something for everyone, whether you’re a hardcore enthusiast or a motorway cruiser simply on the hunt for something just that bit more out there.

4. It’s got an actual burnout mode

It mightn’t look quite as mad, bad and dangerous to know as its roided-out predecessor, the 1M, but if you’re in any way under the impression that this car is ‘soft’, you’re in for a shock.

Along with output north of 360 horsepower, the M2 also comes with BMW’s Active M differential, which allows the car’s rear to be loosened up at the touch of a button for “controlled drifting”. This is good.

What’s better is that it even features a ‘Smokey Burnout’ mode (yes, that’s genuinely what it’s called), which allows the driver to hold the car at low speeds and spin the rear wheels for all manner of tyre-abusing antics.

5. It looks angry as hell

Well-muscled and with more than a whiff of a scaled-down M4 about it, there’s no denying that the M2 isn’t the sort of car that’ll get fanboys squealing and 

Compared with the regular 2 Series, it’s squatter, with bulging wheel arches, phat-with-a-ph tyres and quad pipes, while the front sports massive air intakes that’ll leave drivers quaking in their boots once they spot it in the rear-view mirror.

Inside, the story’s much the same, with M badges embossed on the racing-inspired steering wheel, headrests and gear gaiter, and a black-on-black colour scheme with leather and carbon fibre touches.

6. It’ll let you express your inner voyeur

Fancy yourself as a bit of an exhibitionist? The BMW M2 now lets you indulge in the most depraved of automotive voyeuristic fantasies by allowing you to pair a GoPro with its infotainment system.

As standard, the car comes with software that allows you to connect up the mini action cam to the system, record and then view your videos via the iDrive selection wheel and central touchscreen.

Drivers who enjoy trackday action or carving up a B-road on a quiet Sunday morning will love the opportunity to immortalise their hot laps, or endlessly replay that sphincter-clenching moment their car nearly got intimate with the crash barrier.

7. It’ll even be relatively affordable

As the years have gone on, BMW’s M-badged cars have gotten bigger, more powerful and also more expensive; none have since come close to giving as much bang for buck as the first M3.

It’ll come as good news, therefore, that the M2 is keeping with its entry-level ethos, with prices starting from £44,070, more than £12,000 less than the M3, which was until now the cheapest current M car.

For your money, you get leather sports seats with an alcantara wheel, BMW’s ConnectedDrive infotainment system with integrated sat-nav, and a range of M-specific touches, plus carbon fibre detailing.