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BMW M2 Coupe DCT Auto

Click to view picture gallery“Cant get no satisfaction? Hey, what
  you need is BMW
s new two-door,
  M2 Coupe because nestling behind
  its instantly-recognisable twin kidney
  grilles is a turboed, all-aluminium
 
364bhp 3.0-litre straight-six. Mmmm!”


THE M2 COUPE is currently positioned between the 326hp M235i and the soon-to-arrive 340hp M240i coupe and the larger and more comprehensively tuned and modified twin-turboed 431hp M3 saloon and M4 coupe and M4 convertible models.

But as the Rolling Stones found, satisfaction costs — you'll need 44,080 for a six-speed manual version or 46,580 for one of the more popular seven-speed M DCT dual-clutch autos (with Launch Control).

The M2 coupe comes with a single level of standard equipment that includes SatNav, cruise, DAB radio, two-zone AirCon, parking sensors, black leather sports seats, power windows, 60:40-split rear seats, auto lights and wipers, and 19-inch alloys. Naturally there is a long list of extra-cost options.

Viewed from the side,
the 4.5-metre long
two-door coupe body
looks brilliantly more
purposeful than the
standard 2 Series coupe
due to the strongly-
defined wheel arches and
low but wide road-stance.
At the nose is the familiar
BMW kidney grille,
embellished with an ‘M’
logo and underscored by
a large apron with
trapezoidal blades and
outer air intakes...”
However, compared to the M3/M4 models it doesn't get adjustable suspension or carbon-fibre/Kevlar lightweight bodywork, and has one twin-scroll turbocharger rather than twin-turbos boosting its six-cylinders.

BMW's M Division has though used chassis and suspension components along with the active M differential from the M3/M4 models, including the lightweight aluminium wider front and rear axles — 19-inch alloy rims shod with 10-inch wide tyres highlight the 55mm and 80mm wider front and rear tracks and necessitate bulging wheel arches. Braking is by M compound steel discs.

Viewed from the side, the 4.5-metre long two-door coupe body looks brilliantly more purposeful than the standard 2 Series Coupe due, in particular, to the strongly-defined wheel arches and low but wide road-stance. At the nose is the familiar BMW kidney grille, embellished with an 'M' logo; underscoring that is a large apron with trapezoidal blades and outer air intakes.

Channelling the airflow around and through the bodyshell provides extra cooling for the drivetrain and braking system; it also reduces lift by 35% to maximise the aerodynamic balance at high speeds. For optimum handling performance the M2 Coupe's weight balance is 52% at the front and 48% at the rear. At the tail, the broad, planted stance is defined by an M bootlid spoiler and a rear apron with an integrated diffuser. Twin tailpipes at each corner emit a glorious soundtrack during acceleration.

Inside, the M2 has received a significant upgrading from the standard 1 and 2-Series models on which it is based. The hand of BMW's M Division is clear to see with black leather sports seats with blue contrast stitching and M logos. There's also an M footrest and kneepad on the centre console. Instruments are M2-specific with a 185mph speedo and a rev-counter reading to 8,000rpm.

M logos also appear on the rev-counter, gearshift lever, door sills and M leather steering-wheel — auto versions, as you'd expect, get shift paddles. Carbon-fibre-style and gloss black trim inserts continue the 'sports' theme. Centre of the upper dashboard is an 8.8-inch display screen for the standard-fit SatNav with real-time traffic information and professional media package.

The front cabin is compact rather than cramped, as is the two-seat rear compartment, but it's not at all claustrophobic. One of its main rivals, the Audi TT family of coupes, has far less rear passenger space. Other competitors include the Mercedes A45 AMG, the Audi RS3 — and perhaps even the two-seater Porsche Cayman or the Jaguar F-Type.

This straight-six
is a high-revving unit
producing 364bhp with
peak torque of 342lb ft
available from just
1,400rpm so there’s a
very wide powerband for
instantaneous ‘grunt’.
There’s also a 25lb ft
torque overboost
function for extreme
acceleration, giving a
maximum
368lb ft
when needed...”
The M2 also scores highly for its 390-litre boot that, thanks to the folding rear seatbacks, can be further extended. Overall the interior works well, being relatively high class and well equipped for everyday use without detracting from its potential as a trackday-cum-motorsport car.

The new 3.0-litre straight-six engine benefits from components from the more powerful unit used for the M3/M4 models. All aluminium, it uses a twin-scroll turbocharger, high-precision fuel injection, variable camshaft timing and variable valve control. The turbo is integrated into the exhaust manifold and this not only reduces the engine's warm-up time after a cold start but also improves fuel consumption and lowers CO2 emissions. Start-Stop is also fitted.

The M2 also has a modified lubrication system with an additional oil cooler for the DCT twin-clutch auto version, a further engine cooler, and a modified sump for controlled oil flow during trackday driving.

This straight-six is a high-revving unit producing 364bhp at 6,500rpm with peak torque of 342lb ft available from just 1,400rpm (and from there right up to 5,560rpm) so there is a very wide powerband for instantaneous 'grunt'.

There's also a 25lb ft torque overboost function for extreme acceleration, giving a maximum 368lb ft when needed. Top speed is restricted to 155mph and with the M DCT twin-clutch auto transmission zero to 62mph takes just 4.3 seconds (0.2 seconds faster than with the manual 'box).

Officially the Combined Cycle figure for the auto is 35.8mpg — during my week-long test driving (no track use included), the figure was 28.3mpg. With CO2 emissions of 185g/km road tax is 355 for the First Year reducing to 230 for Year Two onwards.

Against that is the fact that this is a very fast car, perfectly balanced with rear-wheel drive and with potent performance — the overriding impression is just how good the M2 can be as everyday transport if you are prepared to pay 44K or 46K for the more refined DCT auto.

It looks great too; there is no doubting its kerb appeal so pride of ownership is high. With Comfort, Sport and Sport+ setting there's a mode to suit every driving mood whether it's everyday business or social use, long-run cruising or even for more enthusiastic motorsport.

Top speed is restricted
to 155mph and with
the M DCT twin-clutch
auto transmission
zero to 62mph takes
just 4.3 seconds...”
Comfort mode is for everyday driving coping with other traffic, Sport brings the drivetrain to life for the open road, and Sport+ allows the traction and stability control to give an even edgier performance before kicking-in.

Turn off the electronic driver aids and, if you are skilled enough, and preferably on a race track, you can take the M2 to its limit — that's if your limit isn't reached first!

The ride, not unexpectedly given the big wheels and sports suspension, is on the firm side but not uncomfortable and resists cornering body roll. The wide tyres create a lot of roar inside the cabin and follow creases and ruts in the road surfaces created by heavy traffic. But the steering is well-weighted and the handling sublime — it feels really predictable and secure, but all my driving was done on dry roads and greasier surfaces may be more challenging.

Well equipped with a stylishly-sporting and comfortable four-seater cabin, the M2 Coupe has an easy-to-live-with character for everyday use but it's hardcore fast when needed with great handling, huge driving satisfaction and a great exhaust soundtrack! Another shining star in BMW's M range. ~ David Miles

BMW M2 Coupe DCT Auto | 46,580
Maximum speed: 155mph | 0-62mph: 4.3 seconds | Test Average: 28.3mpg
Power: 364bhp | Torque: 342lb ft | CO2: 185g/km