The Babyfaced Assassin
From a distance the BMW M2 might look small and quaint, but don’t be fooled, for this is possibly the best sports car currently in the company’s range. Small on size, big on power is a formula that rarely fails to please
There was a time when BMW made outstanding, little performance cars. The ground-breaking 2002 from the early 1970’s set the scene for BMW’s performance car future and with the replacement 3-Series in the late ‘70’s, eventually spawned the M3 in 1987.
The first “02” BMW of 1966 was a dream designed for customers with sporting ambitions. The combination of a compact two-door notchback body with engine and chassis technology proven in the four-door saloons created the ideal platform to deliver handling traits which made it both agile and safe.
The BMW 02 became the epitome of the ultimate driving machine and its aura was further enhanced as the years went by because the power increased with upgrades in the range of engines supplied from the original 85 bhp in the BMW 1600, through 100 bhp in the BMW 2002, 130 bhp in the BMW 2002 tii, up to 170 bhp in the BMW 2002 turbo.
Fifteen years later, the first BMW M3 of 1986 set a new standard by which other carmakers would be measured. [To be continued...]
The glory years of BMW’s sports cars were almost always in its smallest coupes like the ’02 and M3, so when the M2 was announced, the excitement was palpable. Thankfully it was also justified.
There’s a basic equation to building exciting sports cars which includes not much weight combined with a lot of power and thankfully the BMW M2 follows it to a tee.
Ever since I heard of the BMW M2’s imminent arrival I was keen to get my hands on it. Having owned a modified 2002 and dreamed of the original E30 M3 which I eventually got to drive, the M2 on paper looked like the natural successor to both.
A chuckable little car with a wheel on each corner, more power than its rear-driven wheels can handle but with a chassis that’s still up to the job of keeping things in control. You could not write the script any better than this.
Its three-litre, turbocharged, six-cylinder engine is borrowed from the M235i but has been tweaked with pistons and camshafts taken from the M3 to give it 370bhp and 465Nm of torque. It runs through a seven-speed, dual clutch transmission and gives it a 0-100kmh time of 4.3 seconds. [To be continued...]