Small and mighty are the first words that come to mind when I think of the 2019 BMW M2 Competition luxury coupe. While compact vehicles in the BMW lineup may seem slightly ordinary yet refined, the M2 Competition is the fearless smaller sibling of the M Sport group that offers drivers pure power, sheer efficiency and ample doses -daily- of adrenaline. So, what else makes this M2 Competition trim so special? Let’s go through the impressive and pricey features that you can't say "no" to. You can expect to see upgrades and standard features like Drive and Parking Assist tech but the real fun comes from the lightweight chassis, the six-speed manual gearbox, and M Sport style optimum traction and directional stability, allowing track enthusiasts to enjoy controlled drifts and so much more. Not enough? Here’s the breakdown of what you can instantly enjoy out of the $78,895 compact luxury sports coupe:
+ TwinTurbo Engine generating 405 hp and 406-lb of torque
+ Large front and rear brake disks with 6-piston front and 4-piston rear calipers, painted in a grey finish
+ M Sport Seats with illuminated M2 logo in the backrest
+ Top speed of 280 km/h (175 mph)
+ A 0-100 km (0-60 mph) sprint time of 4.2 seconds (with DCT transmission otherwise known as Automatic)
From the front to back, you can see the accouterments that make this mini bimmer a standout among compact sports cars. The distinctive BMW kidney grille is enlarged and delivered in a high-gloss black paint finish as are the side gills on the front fender-- right there: bad@$$. Plus a new skirt gives the frontal fascia the visual snarl of a road rebel. Another thing you will automatically notice are the wheels— the rims and stance say it all. New 19-inch Y-spoke wheels come in two options: light high-sheen (bi-color) and a black front surface, which is what my tester utilizes and I favorably like on most rides. They look great on such a compact vehicle that has such a pedigree in luxury and performance. I'm sure BMW's M engineers really listened to what avid enthusiasts and fans wanted (and have already been doing to their vehicles, for years).
The all-new M2 Competition replaces the M2 coupe but maintains the same dimensions, engine power, rear wheel drive and standard manual transmission (which I didn't get the opportunity to play with, er “test”). The engine is based on the same power unit used in the M3 and M4. A 6-cylinder turbocharged engine delivers 405 horsepower with 406 pound-feet of torque at peak performance. And it certainly growls with the help of a dual exhaust system with electronic flap controls giving the vehicle a meaty and powerful note, which can be adjusted by selecting a driving mode via a selector switch in the center console. This new variant of the M2 has been engineered and manufactured to be taken to the track, any day of the week.
There’s a choice when it comes to transmission options, which makes complete sense for a playful whip with such a high pricepoint. As mentioned, the M2 Competition comes with the standard feature of a lightweight and compact 6-speed manual gearbox, ideal for hard driving on a track. But for those looking at this vehicle as a daily driver with a twist, the ultra smooth 7-speed M Double Clutch transmission can be ordered. What I like about the Automatic option is that I was able to change gears either in the automated or manual modes by using the gearshift lever on the center console -which gave a bold sense of driving manual- or paddle shifters on the steering wheel. When you drive enough Press vehicles, you realize the aforementioned combination is becoming rarer by the year.
Even with the preconfigured driving programs of Comfort, Sport and Sport+, this car responds with gutsy vigor and welcoming enthusiasm. I stayed in Sport mode only because of my indecision to choose a mode based on local traffic and speed limit options. But I will say that perhaps Comfort is best, as the mode characteristics are still instantly responsive to performance yet less aggressive on fuel consumption. While the M2 Competition is, for lack a more comical term “little”, it’s still fuel hungry like the big boys. Fuel consumption numbers are 11.6 l/100 km in the city, 6.7 l/100 km on the highway, for a combined 8.5 l/100 km. Be prepared to spend more than $60 at the pump for a full tank.
What kind of bells and whistles can you expect inside the M2 Competition? Exactly what you pay for and a little more, if you don’t mind the price tag. Nonetheless, getting in is an instant pleasure. You'll see the splash of M2 branding with logos on the sill plates, bucket-style leather racing-inspired seats where the headrest is integrated into the backrest and Alcantara suede features. Plus either M Sport Blue or Orange stitching is available to the trim design. And then there’s also an illuminating logo within the backrest-- so fresh. Seat belts straps with the classic BMW M stripes colors is a nice touch. What more to the cockpit? The dashboard is basic BMW with some M Sport branding but the Start/Stop ignition cycle button is unconventionally Racing Red.
If you’re already a fan of BMW M cabins via the seating, styling and steering wheel combos, you’ll be pleased to know that on the steering wheel of this model are M1 and M2 buttons that allow for quick and direct adjustments to the Driving Mode. The M1 Mode delivers Comfort traits while the M2 Mode delivers the inner sports beast, at the flick of a switch.
And then there's the matter of cargo, lifestyle and hauling necessities. The dimensions are still compact for this vehicle but you can expect a comfortable cabin and decent cargo area in the rear of 390 liters, bigger than the 1 Series' trunk and larger than that of Volkswagen Golf’s and Audi’s TT.
With the starting price of $71,250, the BMW M2 Competition is certainly not on the lower spectrum of compact commuter coupes. But once you truly realize what you're getting, like like the perks I’ve listed above, it only makes the right kind of sense. And because BMW has countless options to really make a ride bespoke, the price can fluctuate to your advantage, without compromising the desired performance and pleasures offered by the automaker. This small yet powerful four-seater is engrossed with M Sport DNA and quite a few specs found in both the M3 and M4. It's not just passing special edition. But the big question is, is it a vehicle you can you live with? That answer should be "yes". And after a small taste of its big M power prowess, you won’t be able to live without it.