Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to drive a 2018 BMW M2. The M2 is the performance focused sibling of the 2 series of BMWs. The M2 I drove had a 3.0L turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine, and a six speed manual transmission. BMW started producing the 2 series in 2014, to fill the gap between the entry level 1 series and the very popular 3 series. The M2 is a small, two door platform that feels like the size of a Kia Rio: but I assure you that’s where the similarities between a Rio and the M2 end.
You can’t talk about the M2 without talking about the performance. The 3.0L turbo six cylinder feels like a jet engine bolted under the hood. The turbo spools higher up in the rev range, which makes the term “Flooring it” refer more to your jaw than your foot. Within a couple of minutes of driving, I decided to do a 2nd gear pull. As the engine sped up and the turbo spooled, I was waiting for the revs to die, but they didn’t. The M2 kept pulling, and pulling, and pulling. If there wasn’t a stop sign ahead of me, I would have thought the car could have pulled me to the moon. The gearbox was precise, and short like a sports car should be. Everything about the M2 is geared towards performance. The reason I like the M2 more than the M3 or 4, is the size. The M3’s are too big. The M2 feels like the old E30 BMWs of the 1980s, which was my favorite BMW until I drove the M2. The small size gives the M2 the feeling that everything is within arm’s reach, and that’s how I like it.
The interior is well made, and filled with features. There’s a large display in the middle of the dash that has your music settings, GPS, and vehicle information. There’s climate control options, a CD player, and some cup holders. You don’t buy an M2 for the interior. It’s nice, but not the point.
There’s really only one downside to the M2, which is the price. The one I drove was priced at $58,000, but many M2’s will get well into the sixty thousand range. That’s almost two V8 Mustangs, three Miata’s, or 4.7 Ford Fiesta S’ (The cheapest new car for sale in 2018). There is a cheaper way to get 365 horsepower, but I’m not sure I’d be interested.
The M2 has officially changed my mind on how I look at cars. Between the short wheelbase, powerful engine, superb transmission, and attractive styling the M2 really is the ultimate driving machine.