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Driven: BMW bolsters popular M2 performance line

Wow factor: The diminutive but brutish M2 has smashed all of BMW’s sales expectations since launching in 2016.

2 Series update sees BMW’s top-selling M car pick up extra kit for 2018 model year

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BMW logo28 Sep 2017

By TIM ROBSON

BMW has given its popular M2 coupe a light update some 14 months after landing here, with BMW Group Australia managing director Marc Werner declaring the potent two-door had already more than doubled the company’s original sales estimates.

“Initially we thought, ‘Okay, we’re only going sell (approximately) 300,” he told GoAuto at the launch of the facelifted version of the 2 Series in Tasmania this week.

“Now we are looking at probably selling 800, so the demand for that car has been extraordinary, and I personally believe it’s probably one of the best M cars that we’ve ever seen.”

Supply of the M2 was limited to 390 units last year, while BMW officials have confirmed that an initial allocation of 550 cars for 2017 has been increased to almost 700.

This year, the company has sold 385 examples of the M2 to the end of August, outselling both the M3 (293) and M4 (169). Approximately 20 per cent of sales are attributed to the entry-level M2 Pure model.

Mr Werner refuted the notion that the four-seat M2, now priced from $99,900 with the update (up $400), has cannibalised sales from the brand’s traditional M cars, the M3 sedan and the derivative M4 coupe.

“Not at all,” he said. “Actually, the opposite was the case. With the offer of the M2, we’ve actually had a lot of interest from non-traditional BMW customers taking a look at the M2 and then actually decided to go for an M3 or even an M4.

“So, actually, it was a win-win situation for us and really helped to boost the BMW M business in Australia.”

The M2’s competitors include Audi’s $100,855 TT S Coupe and the Porsche Cayman at $115,600.

The changes to the M2 line-up for the 2018 model year are minor, with BMW adding its newest iDrive6 touchscreen multimedia system to both the M2 and M2 Pure.

The updated M2 also scores adaptive LED headlights as standard, while the $93,300 Pure (which has increased price by $2800) features bi-LED versions.

Both models are also fitted with new-design rear LED tail-lights.

Other incremental changes include newly designed indicator and wiper stalks that offer a more distinct detent, while the multimedia system now offers an M-specific information page.

The potent performance of the M2’s 272kW/465Nm 3.0-litre single-turbocharged straight-six petrol engine falls short of the 331kW/550Nm twin-turbo six of the M3 and M4 Competition – and Mr Werner says this is a deliberate ploy.

“We always have to make sure that there is a hierarchy, and so M3 and M4 we will still be the pinnacle in that sense,” he said. “We have to make sure that performance-wise the M2 is not becoming too close to the M3 or M4.”

Mr Werner said the M2 had always been designed to complement the bigger, more powerful four-door M3/two-door M4 combination.

“I personally believe that the M3 and the M4 are perfectly balanced to be equals, and so the company took a decision with the M2 to really go back to (M’s) origins,” he said. “The M3 and the M4 are probably much better racecars on the track, and the M2 is the day-to-day all-rounder.”

As previously reported, other models in the rear-wheel-drive 2 Series Coupe and Convertible range – namely the 220i, 230i and 240i – have also received mild updates for 2018.

Revised front and rear bumpers, LED headlights and tail-lights, BMW’s latest iDrive6 multimedia system and minor interior trim tweaks are applied across the range.

The M240i Coupe increases in price by $1900 to $76,800 plus on-road costs, despite offering the same 250kW/500Nm 3.0-litre turbocharged six-cylinder drivetrain as the similarly sized M140i which has just had its price reduced by almost $5000 to now start from $59,990 plus on-roads.

It also gets new alloys and high-performance Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres, and can be optioned with a no-cost six-speed manual gearbox instead of the stock eight-speed ZF automatic.

New bi-LED headlights adorn the front of the 230i, which jumps $1100 in price to $63,000 plus on-roads, while the 220i – which increases $1600 to $52,900 – also gets bi-LED headlights as standard.

The 2 Series Coupe and Convertible line has moved 1251 units all told to the end of August this year, a fall of 13.5 per cent over the same period last year.

2017 BMW 2 Series pricing*
Coupe
220i (a)$52,900
230i (a)$63,000
M240i (a)$76,800
Convertible
220i (a)$59,900
230i (a)$73,000
M240i (a)$85,800
*Excludes on-road costs

2017 BMW M2 pricing*
M2 Pure$93,300
M2$99,900
M2 (a)$99,900
*Excludes on-road costs

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