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Beijing show: BMW confirms hotter M2

Hot Competition: BMW has turned up the wick on its M2, slotting the twin-turbo 3.0-litre engine from the M3 and M4 into the smallest coupe from the Bavarian brand.

Potent 302kW twin-turbo BMW M2 Competition destined for Australia

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BMW logo18 Apr 2018

BMW has formally announced the global rollout of a potent new 2 Series performance flagship, the M2 Competition, nine days after details of the hot coupe were accidentally leaked on BMW Group Australia’s website.

As expected, the new variant gets a version of the S55 twin-turbo 3.0-litre straight six transplanted from the bigger M3 and M4. In this case, the engine puts out 302kW of power from 5205rpm, and 550Nm of torque from 2350rpm to 5200rpm – 30kW and 85Nm more than the single-turbo N55 engine in the M2.

While that is the same peak torque as the M4 Competition, it is short of the full 331kW of power available in the bigger coupe.

The new variant – to be revealed in the flesh at the Beijing motor show next week – has been confirmed for this market by BMW Group Australia CEO Marc Werner, but full specifications, price and arrival date are yet to be detailed.

“With the great success the current M2 has enjoyed in Australia, we simply cannot wait for the M2 Competition to arrive,” he said.

Most likely to land in Australia in the second half of this year, the rear-wheel-drive M2 Competition will come standard with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, although a six-speed manual gearbox will be available as a no-cost option in Australia.

In dual-clutch form, the M2 Competition covers the sprint to 100km/h in 4.2 seconds, nipping 0.1s from the “standard” M2’s acceleration time while matching one of its perceived competitors, the Mercedes-AMG A45.

However, it is 0.1s slower than another, the Audi RS3, that reputedly does the run in a claimed 4.1 seconds.

The M3 Competition’s transmission blips the throttle on downshifts while also automatically matching revs on upshifts, unless the driver wants to do that themselves, in which case the system can be switched off.

The hard-revving engine brings with it the M4’s cooling system with no fewer than four radiators – one in the middle of the grille, two side units and an oil cooler.

A closed-deck engine block enabled the engineers to turn up the turbo boost while at the same time increasing crankcase rigidity. The oil supply system also has been ramped up to prevent surge and maintain consistent delivery.

The twin exhaust gets bi-modal flaps and new mufflers for big-bore sound that can be switched on or off via a console switch.

Three driving modes – Comfort, Sport and Sports+ – are on offer, along with the ability to turn off the stability control system for the brave.

Apart from the powertrain, other items borrowed from the M3 and M4 include a carbon-fibre reinforced plastic strut tower brace under the bonnet for greater front-end rigidity, along with the M4’s bulkhead strut.

The suspension has strong forged aluminium control arms and wheel carriers, along with ball joints.

An active differential can lock the rear axle between 0 and 100 per cent, automatically locking when pulling away on slippery surfaces. It also locks for drifting by reacting to steering angle, throttle position, yaw rate and other fun factors.

Brakes step up to 400mm front discs with six-piston callipers and 380mm rears with four-piston grippers.

The exterior of the M2 Competition is set apart from the regular M2 by re-shaped front air skirt and gloss black grille and side vents.

Quad exhaust tips are in black, matching those of the M3 and M4 Competition.

The M Sport seats are cloaked with black leather, with a choice of blue or orange perforated leather centre sections. Alcantara is applied to the side bolsters.

Standard equipment includes adaptive LED headlights and front and rear parking control.

Although pricing is yet to be announced for Australia, the M2 Competition is destined to become the first M2 to break through the $100,000 barrier.

The current manual-only M2 Pure is priced at $93,300 plus on-road costs, while the M2 is a tick under $100,000, at $99,900.

In the M3 range, the Competition is a $27,000 premium over the M3 Pure, which potentially means the M2 Competition will command about $120,000 if the same premium applies.

By comparison, the Audi RS3 starts at $84,611, while the Mercedes-AMG A45 is $78,611 and the CLA45 sedan is $92,611.

So far this year, BMW has sold 443 2 Series coupes and convertibles, a dip of 9.2 per cent on the sales tally for the first three months of last year.

However, the small BMW has held sales better than most, with the sportscar segment up to $80,000 slumping by 23 per cent in 2018.

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