stats
globeinteractive.com: Making the Business of Life Easier

   Finance globeinvestor   Careers globecareers.workopolis Subscribe to The Globe
The Globe and Mail /globeandmail.com
Home | Business | National | Int'l | Sports | Columnists | The Arts | Tech | Travel | TV | Wheels
space


Search

space
  This site         Tips

  
space
  The Web Google
space
   space



space

  Where to Find It


Breaking News
  Home Page

  Report on Business

  Sports

  Technology

space
Subscribe to The Globe

Shop at our Globe Store


Print Edition
  Front Page

  Report on Business

  National

  International

  Sports

  Arts & Entertainment

  Editorials

  Columnists

   Headline Index

 Other Sections
  Appointments

  Births & Deaths

  Books

  Classifieds

  Comment

  Education

  Environment

  Facts & Arguments

  Focus

  Health

  Obituaries

  Real Estate

  Review

  Science

  Style

  Technology

  Travel

  Wheels

 Leisure
  Cartoon

  Crosswords

  Food & Dining

  Golf

  Horoscopes

  Movies

  Online Personals

  TV Listings/News

 Specials & Series
  All Reports...

space

Services
   Where to Find It
 A quick guide to what's available on the site

 Newspaper
  Advertise

  Corrections

  Customer Service

  Help & Contact Us

  Reprints

  Subscriptions

 Web Site
  Advertise

  E-Mail Newsletters

  Free Headlines

  Globe Store New

  Help & Contact Us

  Make Us Home

  Mobile New

  Press Room

  Privacy Policy

  Terms & Conditions


GiveLife.ca

    

PRINT EDITION
PURE PLEASURE
space
If you've ever driven a go-kart on one of those slippery indoor concrete tracks, the BMW M2 Competition will feel familiar, Matt Bubbers writes
space
By MATT BUBBERS
Special to The Globe and Mail
  
  

Email this article Print this article
Friday, August 3, 2018 – Page D1

2019 BMW M2 Competition

BASE PRICE: $71,250

Engine: 3.0-litre twin-turbo straight-six

Transmission/Drive: Six-speed manual, or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic/Rear-wheel

Fuel economy (litres/100 km): TBD

Alternatives: Ford Shelby GT350, BMW M3, Porsche 718 Cayman, AMG C63 Coupe, Audi RS3

Barring some catastrophic error or colossal miscalculation by BMW's engineers, we knew this car would be good. But we didn't expect it to be quite such a freak.

Flinging the new M2 Competition around a racetrack, every solid jab of the throttle is liable to overwhelm the rear wheels and squirt the car sideways. It simply doesn't want to go straight. Straight is boring; sideways is fun.

If you've ever driven a go-kart on one of those slippery indoor concrete tracks, this car will feel familiar.

The Competition's preferred method of cornering goes like this: turn in, then power-slide. The angle is up to you - slide a lot or a little, showboat or try to set a fast lap time - but once the rear has broken traction, you can leave the steering wheel alone and adjust the car's direction with your right foot. It's crazy, borderline antisocial for such an outwardly normal vehicle. Could this be love?

The M2 Competition replaces the BMW M2, a car we said was "the best M car in a generation, and the best car in-class" when it was launched in 2016. They honestly could've left it alone, but they didn't.

The briefing was relatively simple. "We wanted to improve the driving fun of the car," said Markus Schroder, project leader for the M2 Competition.

They accomplished their goal in that time-honoured hot-rod tradition of stuffing a more powerful motor under the hood.

The regular M2 - which has been discontinued with the arrival of the Competition model - used the N55 engine, a single-turbo straight-six with 365 horsepower and 343 lb.-ft. of torque. However, the Competition gets BMW's exotic S55 twin-turbo straight-six, lifted directly from the bigger M3. Here the motor generates 405 horsepower (all the way up to 7,000 rpm) and 406 lb.-ft. of torque, which, yes, is a little less than it makes in the M3.

The company is sandbagging, slightly.

There are two reason, says Frank Van Meel, boss of M Division: The 2 Series' smaller engine bay provides less space for cooling and the company doesn't want its littlest, cheapest M car upstaging its more expensive stablemates.

To make the new high-revving motor work, engineers had to change almost everything on the M2 from the windshield forward, fitting in extra chassis bracing, larger intakes and cooling ducts.

To be clear, nobody ever said the M2 was lacking giddy-up. Giving it more was either brilliant or reckless. In fact, it's both.

"You can get into a drift easier," Schroder said, understating it. "To control something which is out of control, on the edge, that's the fun part of drifting. And I think that's the fascination for people."

It's shocking the first time it happens.

With the traction control off, this lump of torque - all 406 lb.-ft. of it - hits at 2,350 rpm. The Michelin Super Sport tires have no chance. It's as if they've hit a patch of ice.

On a racetrack, where the motor stays in the upper half of its rev range, the power feels more linear. You avoid that torque bomb at 2,350 rpm and the rear-end breaks traction more predictably.

Despite the short wheelbase and overpowered motor, this car feels usable, exploitable at the limit.

It's feisty, but ultimately friendly - a bad guy with a heart-of-gold character.

We often complain that modern performance cars are boring because they have too much grip. This is the exception that proves the rule.

The only real problem with the M2 Competition is the jump in price. The M2 was $61,000 in 2016. By last year, BMW had jacked it up to $65,200, mostly because of strong demand. The 2019 M2 Competition starts at $71,250, which is dangerously close to the $77,550 M3.

All other complaints are minor. Automatic rev-matching on the six-speed manual can only be disabled by turning traction control off. The interior is available in any colour, as long as it's black. A lightweight carbon-fibre roof, hood and duck-tail trunk would've been nice, but BMW could be saving those for an even more expensive M2 CS or CSL.

Whatever.

The new M2 Competition is a radically simple sports car. What you get here is everything you need and nothing you don't: monster motor, manual gearbox, a limited-slip differential and a great rear-drive chassis. It seems like such a simple formula; it's a shame more automakers haven't figured it out.

The 2019 M2 Competition arrives in Canada later this summer.

The writer was a guest of the automaker. Content was not subject to approval.

RATINGS LOOKS

Not much has changed; the M2 looks as butch as ever. The kidney grille is bigger to let in more air. There are new forged 19-inch alloy wheels, a new quad-tip exhaust and black window trim.

INTERIOR

The non-adjustable suspension strikes a good balance between sport and comfort for daily use.

You can feel the slack, a slight lack of immediacy in the steering, but it's more than a fair sacrifice to make for daily usability. The seats with light-up M2 badges are a bit tacky though.

PERFORMANCE

With the six-speed manual, 0-100 km/h comes up in 4.4. It's 0.2 seconds quicker with the dual-clutch. With such a pure driving experience on offer, the stick-shift is the way to go here.

The front brakes have been upgraded to six-piston, 400mm discs.

TECHNOLOGY

The MDM traction control mode is more lenient, allowing more slip at the rear before cutting in.

Park distance control is now standard, as is a shiny, red engine-starter button.

CARGO

Unlike a Porsche Cayman, the M2 has rear seats and a generous trunk, which makes it a little easier to justify.

THE VERDICT

9.5 Arguably, the best performance car for less than $100,000.

Associated Graphic

BMW wanted its M2 Competition to make driving fun again, and part of that was to make the car's preferred cornering method the power-slide.

The interior includes seats that are fitted with light-up M2 badges.


Huh? How did I get here?
Return to Main Mathew_Ingram Page
Subscribe to
The Globe and Mail
 

Email this article Print this article

space  Advertisement
space

Need CPR for your RSP? Check your portfolio’s pulse and lower yours by improving the overall health of your investments. Click here.

Advertisement

7-Day Site Search
    

Breaking News



Today's Weather


Inside

Rick Salutin
Merrily marching
off to war
Roy MacGregor
Duct tape might hold
when panic strikes


Editorial
Where Manley is going with his first budget




space

Columnists



For a columnist's most recent stories, click on their name below.

 National


Roy MacGregor arrow
This Country
space
Jeffrey Simpson arrow
The Nation
space
Margaret Wente arrow
Counterpoint
space
Hugh Winsor  arrow
The Power Game
space
 Business


Rob Carrick arrow
Personal Finance
space
Drew Fagan arrow
The Big Picture
space
Mathew Ingram arrow
space
Brent Jang arrow
Business West
space
Brian Milner arrow
Taking Stock
space
Eric Reguly arrow
To The Point
space
Andrew Willis arrow
Streetwise
space
 Sports


Stephen Brunt arrow
The Game
space
Eric Duhatschek arrow
space
Allan Maki arrow
space
William Houston arrow
Truth & Rumours
space
Lorne Rubenstein arrow
Golf
space
 The Arts


John Doyle arrow
Television
space
John MacLachlan Gray arrow
Gray's Anatomy
space
David Macfarlane arrow
Cheap Seats
space
Johanna Schneller arrow
Moviegoer
space
 Comment


Murray Campbell arrow
Ontario Politics
space
Lysiane Gagnon arrow
Inside Quebec
space
Marcus Gee arrow
The World
space
William Johnson arrow
Pit Bill
space
Paul Knox arrow
Worldbeat
space
Heather Mallick arrow
As If
space
Leah McLaren arrow
Generation Why
space
Rex Murphy arrow
Japes of Wrath
space
Rick Salutin arrow
On The Other Hand
space
Paul Sullivan arrow
The West
space
William Thorsell arrow
space





Home | Business | National | Int'l | Sports | Columnists | The Arts | Tech | Travel | TV | Wheels
space

© 2003 Bell Globemedia Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Help & Contact Us | Back to the top of this page