Tesla have ‘Ludicrous’ mode. Lamborghini have ‘Thrust’ mode. This little BMW coupe has something called ‘Smokey Burnout’ mode. That should tell you all you need to know about the BMW M2. In essence, BMW have taken the M235i and turned all the dials up to 100. It’s on a whole new level, one where there are no direct rivals from Audi or Mercedes. In other words, the M2 is literally in a class of its own.

That puts it in an interesting position. It’s now the starting point of the BMW M range. But that doesn’t mean they’ve held back. With a beefed up version of BMW’s tried and tested 3.0-litre twin-turbo in-line six developing 370bhp/272kW and up to 500NM of torque, the M2 can either be seen as a sleeker, albeit less practical, alternative to the CLA45 AMG or a Cayman rival with two extra seats.

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Power is sent to the rear wheels, naturally, via a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. With the help of launch control and the 7-speed DCT, the M2 can get from standstill to 100 km/h in just 4.3 seconds. The manual takes 0.2 seconds less. Top speed is limited to 250 km/h, though that can be raised to 270 km/h. That’s a lot of go for a little car. The M2 tips the scales at 1495kg, some 40kg more than the M235i.

While the M2 is based and shares a lot in common with the M235i, BMW have also taken a lot of parts from the M3/M4. The tracks have been increased by 64mm up front and 71mm at the rear, basically the same as its larger siblings. Other changes made by M Division include bolding the rear axle subframe directly to the structure. The suspension uses lightweight materials and the springs, dampers, front bushing, roll bars, and steering have been fine tuned.

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The extra width in the track has resulted in a wider, more aggressive look outside. The swollen bodywork, fat tyres, and quad-tailpipes remind me of a baby AMG Black Series. And that’s high praise coming from me. I think this thing looks fantastic, in a bonkers sort of way. I was a huge fan of the old 1M and this takes it to a whole other level. I’d say it strikes a fine balance between looking aggressive and beautiful. I’m so won over by this.

It’ll go on sale in Europe in the first quarter of next year, so expect it to be in New Zealand around the third quarter. Hopefully sooner though. The European prices indicate it’ll cost more than the Audi RS3 and Mercedes CLA45 but less than both the Porsche Cayman and BMW M4. In all honesty out I’d take the M2 over all those cars. What can I say, I’m a sucker for flared wheelarches. Would you take the M2 over its rivals, or even its bigger siblings?

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