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F87 M2 (2016 - current)
BMW will be unveiling the upcoming F87 M2 and this is the place to talk about it. Are you adding one of these to your garage?

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  #1  
Old 02-16-2016, 03:01 PM
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The BMW M2 Review - This is the BMW you've been waiting for



Yes, it is just that good. For the last few years BMW enthusiasts have been let down by our white and blue brand. The current three series, the enthusiasts BMW for so many years, has been criticized for numb steering and lackluster suspension. BMW even went as far as a major suspension upgrade for the 3 Series mid-life-cycle upgrade (LCI) to try an improve the situation with minimal gain. When BMW launched the 2 Series a few years ago it came with high hopes. About the size of the E46 3 Series (1999-2005) it was a chance for BMW to get back into the sports car game. While the 2 Series, the M235i specifically, is a great car it still lacks the driver connection that BMW used to provide. The use of electronic power steering, with 64% less return to center torque then the previous hydraulic steering gets most of the blame.

When BMW finally announced the M version of the 2 Series there was another round of enthusiasm. Was this finally the drivers car we wanted? BMW did a great job M-ifiying the 3/4 series to create the M3 and M4, both of which are driving and technology master pieces. If BMW could take the greatest parts of the M4 and squeeze them into a 2 Series chassis there was a real chance for a BMW enthusiasts car.

After a full day of driving at Laguna Seca Raceway and in the twisty roads in Monterrey, CA, I am very pleased to say that this is hands down the best car BMW has built since the E92 M3. Yes, the F80 M3 and F82 M4 are great cars, but as the platform size has grown I consider them grand touring cars more then pure sports cars at this point. The shorter wheelbase gives the M2 a snappier feel on turn in and it is much more 'chuckable' into the corners then the M3/M4. If you've been waiting for BMW to return to building the Ultimate Driving Machine, your wait is over.



Pure M2
If I had to describe the M2 in a single word, it would be pure. BMW had a singular target with the M2 and they built exactly that and nothing more. There wasn't a committee voting on what should be included on the M2, it was built to drive like the best sports car and that is all. To that end there are no frills to M2, no sun roof, no major options or packages, no configurable M button or dynamic suspension. You get in and drive and that is the way it should be. If you were hoping for a baby M4, be ready for a bit of a let down. The M2 is for the drivers in the crowd who don't want to configure a bunch of buttons (yes it has a driver experience button). They want the car to be everything it can be out of the box, all the time. Some will lament this simplicity and wish it had all the BMW M doodads, and to that I say go buy an M4 with all the bells and whistles and leave the M2 allocations for the pure drivers.



On the Track
Laguna Seca Raceway was the test track for the M2. With 11 turns and 180 feet of elevation change over 2.2 miles it gives a good range of speed, braking and corners to test the maximum performance the M2 can put down. Acceleration from the inline six is strong with no hint of turbo lag. With the 369 lb-ft of torque coming on low in the rev range it pulls you out of corners without down shifting. On the top end of the RPM range you pay the price for the low end torque with the acceleration dying out over 5,800 RPMs. Shifting before 6,000 RPMs felt best, both on the street and track. The throttle in sport plus is pleasingly linear and direct making it easy to throttle steer corners with no surprise bursts of power.

The M2s BMW supplied for the track were fitted with M Performance Parts track pads for maximum performance and zero fade. Like the throttle response the brakes were direct and linear allowing for deep braking into corner 1. The M2s were pushed lap after lap with no indication that brake fade would ever be an issue, an impressive feat for iron rotors.

The 19 inch Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires are custom made for the M2 with the fronts focusing on turn in and the rears on linear traction. The sizes are also a perfect balance and despite the rears being 20mm wider then the fronts the balance is not upset. An interesting tidbit on tires, when you burn through your M2 tires, which you will, be sure to get BMW spec Pilot Super Sports as your replacements to retain the handling and performance. BMW spec tires have a star on the sidewall.

The steering rack on the M2 is ZF built and comes from the F8x M3/M4. Unlike all other BMW EPS systems (besides the M3/M4) the M2 is dead on. It lacks the grainy, gritty feeling of the old hydraulic system but none of the feel or feedback. It feels like BMW took the E9x M3 steering, stripped out all the noise and put it in the M2. The wheel is quieter in your hands, lacking the high speed vibrations but never fails to communicate every vital bit of information about exactly what the tires are doing. I doubt that the EPS could be distinguished from a hydraulic system if someone didn't tell you. Turn in is consistent with non of the rubbery, vague feeling the M235i has. You simply turn in, the car points through the corner and you adjust the finer points with the throttle.

The suspension and rear active differential work together to plant the car around the track. Despite the massive torque the suspension controlled and channeled the power to the ground without wagging the tail around unexpectedly. When you do want the rear to step out it does so in a controlled and organized fashion. The front to rear balance is spot on with no hint of understeer. When pushing beyond the tire limits, the behavior is consistent and manageable allowing exploration of the limit without concern the car will kill you. I found myself able to push harder and faster than I would in an unfamiliar car because the fail over at the limit was so approachable. The M2 is a car that will help you get faster at the track.



On the Street
With a huge grin from the track it was time to dial it back to street speeds and see how normal life with the M2 is. I traded in the M DCT transmission for a 6 speed manual and proceeded to cruise down the 101 to Big Sur. On the street the M2 is compliant and enjoyable at any speeds. The ride is surprisingly comfortable despite the hard mounted rear sub-frame and track capable suspension. Dynamic suspension on the M4 might allow you to dial up the performance suspension or comfort at you wish, but there is something about a simple set of springs and shocks that seems to just work better. There is no cheating, no working around a suspension issue with dynamic programming. Going back to my concept of pure M2 there is no tech trickery on the M2, it rides on fixed suspension. The ride has to feel right all the time, and in the M2 it does.

The M2 6 speed is lifted from the M4, making it BMW's best manual transmission. The shifter movement is smooth, with a medium length throw that slips quickly into the next gear without drama. The dual surface clutch is communicative on engagement but would benefit from a slightly stiffer pedal and more feedback. Rowing your own gears in the M2 costs 0.2 seconds when running 0-60 (4.4 vs 4.2 seconds) but on winding roads the feeling of being part of the powertrain is worth the performance difference. One annoying 'feature' on the M2 is the rev matching system that automatically blips the engine while downshifting. It works surprisingly well but takes away from the pleasure of doing it yourself. The feature can only be disabled by turning DSC off, which I don't find reasonable for most street driving.

2016 BMW M2 starts at $51,700- Complete pricing and ordering guides



The other feature that I find annoying is the driver experience switch next to the gear shift. With three modes the idea is the driver can dial in the experience they want out of the car. What happened to buying a sports car to have a sports car? Whatever your take is on this I found comfort to be the worst setting. With no dynamic suspension the ride is always the same leaving the steering and throttle control for the switch to control. Comfort gives you an over boosted wheel and a non-linear throttle that is only good for tip toeing around town. Sport and Sport + are the sweet spots with Sport + providing additional throttle response (something not true in other BMWs). I didn't have enough time to explore the differences between the two but have a feeling Sport + is going to be the best mode, even for street driving. If the M2 would simply remember my last setting on this switch I wouldn't dislike it so much.

Final Thoughts
If you've been thinking about an M2, go buy one. If you've been looking for a new BMW, get an M2. It is really that good. A few nit picky button gripes aside there was nothing that was a let down or chinks in the M2 armor. It drives better then you hope and is more fun on the street then anything else. It is truly as exciting to drive as it looks and once you get the chance to slide behind the wheel you won't be disappointed.

Last edited by pix335i; 02-16-2016 at 03:50 PM.
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  #2  
Old 02-16-2016, 03:15 PM
jmw881 jmw881 is offline
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The BMW M2 Review - This is the BMW you've been waiting for

Great review, thanks! The wait to drive this car is getting harder and harder!!

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  #3  
Old 02-16-2016, 08:17 PM
Mlambert890 Mlambert890 is offline
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"Best since E92 M3"? Are we now remembering the E92 as some sort of high bar? Too big and too heavy, the E92 was a big departure for the M3. It shows how horrible EPS really is, and how thoroughly the M4 has transitioned the M3 into a "baby M6", that we're already looking back on the E92 with nostalgia colored glasses simply because of hydraulic steering.

I still have high hopes for the M2, but "best since 1M" (a better and more engaging car then the E92 M3 by any purely performance focused metric outside of a maximum RPM DCT 0-60 launch) would have been more convincing praise IMO.
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Old 02-17-2016, 04:19 AM
NordicBob NordicBob is offline
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Let's see if the M2 is like the E46.

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Old 02-17-2016, 06:53 AM
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Thanks Tim! Seems like most people love the car. I have submitted my specs to my dealer as I'm #2. I kind of regretted not getting 6mt on my m3 so this will make up for that!
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Old 02-17-2016, 09:17 AM
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Old 02-17-2016, 09:27 AM
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Circle- that's where mine is coming from. Small world.
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Old 02-17-2016, 09:36 AM
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Circle- that's where mine is coming from. Small world.
Wow, very small world, that is fantastic! Did you deal with our ///M Specialist, Danny Wong?
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Old 02-17-2016, 09:40 AM
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Yes I did and you guys service my M3, Tim is the man.
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Old 02-17-2016, 05:01 PM
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OMG that write up makes me yearn for one
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Old 02-18-2016, 06:49 AM
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I cant wait to see this car in the CLT. I will own one in a few years
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Old 02-18-2016, 07:24 AM
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I feel like the multiple mentions of the buttons was directed at me Tim


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"Best since E92 M3"? Are we now remembering the E92 as some sort of high bar? Too big and too heavy, the E92 was a big departure for the M3. It shows how horrible EPS really is, and how thoroughly the M4 has transitioned the M3 into a "baby M6", that we're already looking back on the E92 with nostalgia colored glasses simply because of hydraulic steering.

I still have high hopes for the M2, but "best since 1M" (a better and more engaging car then the E92 M3 by any purely performance focused metric outside of a maximum RPM DCT 0-60 launch) would have been more convincing praise IMO.
Uhhh a high reving v8 with balance, that while yeah I guess if you're an e30/e46 snob its "too big", but the car when pushed to extremes complemented everything perfectly, nothing was out of sorts. It was perfect harmony.

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Old 02-18-2016, 08:38 AM
Mark K Mark K is offline
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Thanks, Tim. I guess I will absolutely have to test drive this.
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Old 02-18-2016, 09:58 AM
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"Best since E92 M3"? Are we now remembering the E92 as some sort of high bar? Too big and too heavy, the E92 was a big departure for the M3. It shows how horrible EPS really is, and how thoroughly the M4 has transitioned the M3 into a "baby M6", that we're already looking back on the E92 with nostalgia colored glasses simply because of hydraulic steering.

I still have high hopes for the M2, but "best since 1M" (a better and more engaging car then the E92 M3 by any purely performance focused metric outside of a maximum RPM DCT 0-60 launch) would have been more convincing praise IMO.
Set me straight, the E9x M3 did not have EPS, correct?
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Old 02-19-2016, 07:45 AM
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Excellent review, Tim! Thank you.
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Old 02-21-2016, 12:19 AM
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So help me out here. I've been reading a lot lately that the F8X cars are apparently GT cars now and not sports cars. I don't necessarily disagree with the idea until the never ending E9X nostalgia comes in. The F8X cars are lighter, faster and have higher handling limits, but get the GT label while E9X doesn't.

As for the M2, I'm sure it is/will be an excellent car so why ruin the review with lines like "if you want all the bells and whistles go buy an M4 and leave the M2 allocations for the pure drivers." Please, there are plenty of "pure drivers" in M3s and M4s. Whatever that means anyway. I get the passion, but this type of hyperbole is vomit inducing.
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Old 02-21-2016, 04:13 AM
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Everything was great until I read in another review the 1/4 mile trap speed which was 107 MPH. I was expecting something better. 115 MPH or better would have been nice. This is a great compact car for people who do a lot of short trips and city driving.
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Old 02-21-2016, 09:08 AM
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As for the M2, I'm sure it is/will be an excellent car so why ruin the review with lines like "if you want all the bells and whistles go buy an M4 and leave the M2 allocations for the pure drivers." Please, there are plenty of "pure drivers" in M3s and M4s. Whatever that means anyway. I get the passion, but this type of hyperbole is vomit inducing.
Yeah I agree, plenty of other cars in every price range/generation will smoke this thing around the track, and lots of cars will beat it in a straight line. Its not set some new standard...

The back road twisty "purist" thing its kinda the snobbery you see with skiers vs. snowboarders lol, and honestly I'm guessing most of those "purists" would be scared to go 160,170,200mph lol
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Old 02-21-2016, 02:14 PM
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So help me out here. I've been reading a lot lately that the F8X cars are apparently GT cars now and not sports cars. I don't necessarily disagree with the idea until the never ending E9X nostalgia comes in. The F8X cars are lighter, faster and have higher handling limits, but get the GT label while E9X doesn't.

As for the M2, I'm sure it is/will be an excellent car so why ruin the review with lines like "if you want all the bells and whistles go buy an M4 and leave the M2 allocations for the pure drivers." Please, there are plenty of "pure drivers" in M3s and M4s. Whatever that means anyway. I get the passion, but this type of hyperbole is vomit inducing.
And so it goes. People spend a lot of dough on Car X, Car Y comes out to great reviews that contain some criticism of Car X in comparison, and without driving Car Y, Car X owners are induced to "vomit" in response.

Tell you what, drive an M2, then decide whether you need to vomit. I've driven an M4, but not an M2. When I've driven both, then I can personally comment on whether one or the other is more of a "pure drivers" car. Until then, I'm just blowing smoke, one way or another.
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Old 02-21-2016, 04:27 PM
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And so it goes. People spend a lot of dough on Car X, Car Y comes out to great reviews that contain some criticism of Car X in comparison, and without driving Car Y, Car X owners are induced to "vomit" in response.

Tell you what, drive an M2, then decide whether you need to vomit. I've driven an M4, but not an M2. When I've driven both, then I can personally comment on whether one or the other is more of a "pure drivers" car. Until then, I'm just blowing smoke, one way or another.
Read my post, the criticism of the review has nothing to do with defending my car purchase or against the M2. It very well may be the better drivers car, but this "purist" crap gets tossed out so much it is nauseating.
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Old 02-21-2016, 04:39 PM
hawkdawg hawkdawg is offline
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Read my post, the criticism of the review has nothing to do with defending my car purchase or against the M2. It very well may be the better drivers car, but this "purist" crap gets tossed out so much it is nauseating.
So your problem is with "pure" and not "better"? That makes more sense to me, because "pure" is a more arguable concept you don't necessarily need to have driven both cars to comment on.

From my perspective, any car pushing 3500 pounds at 176 inches like the M2 doesn't sound too "pure". It doesn't have as many doo-dads as the M3/4, so there are fewer buttons to push in deciding how you want the car to drive, but that's a pretty restrictive definition of "pure."

"Pure" to me means light, no attempt to compensate for lots of bulk with power, honest and unfiltered steering feel, great brakes, an extremely responsive chassis and suspension, a slick manual tranny and a well-matched engine that revs up high with a cool sound to it. I am not sure that car is made any more.

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Old 02-21-2016, 05:02 PM
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So your problem is with "pure" and not "better"? That makes more sense to me, because "pure" is a more arguable concept you don't necessarily need to have driven both cars to comment on.

From my perspective, any car pushing 3500 pounds at 176 inches like the M2 doesn't sound too "pure". It doesn't have as many doo-dads as the M3/4, so there are fewer buttons to push in deciding how you want the car to drive, but that's a pretty restrictive definition of "pure."

"Pure" to me means light, no attempt to compensate for lots of bulk with power, honest and unfiltered steering feel, great brakes, an extremely responsive chassis and suspension, a slick manual tranny and a well-matched engine that revs up high with a cool sound to it. I am not sure that car is made any more.
I mostly agree with your definitions of what a "purer" sports car would be and yeah, I kind of chuckle when the M2 is apparently the example of a pure sports car here. Other, I guess "purer" cars come to mind.

My main problem is this review is full of the usual clickbait, trolling and antagonism going on in the forums that just gets rehashed over and over. It's the same thing, pit one car against another to use as a prop to build the other one up. If the M2 is that good, it will stand on its own merits. Not because one has more buttons or the author doesn't happen to like a certain car.

In simpler terms, it is the usual argument. You aren't a true enthusiast because you drive xyz car or because it is equipped in a certain way. It's an old overused narrative.

Like I said, if the M2 is that good it will stand on its own merits and attain a somewhat legendary status like the 1M has all on its own. It won't need a straw man argument to help make it look better.
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Old 02-22-2016, 06:49 AM
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I mostly agree with you definitions of what a "purer" sports car would be and yah, I kind of chuckle when the M2 is apparently the example of a pure sports car here. Other, I guess "purer" cars come to mind.

My main problem is this review is full of the usual clickbait, trolling and antagonism going on in the forums that just gets rehashed over and over. It's the same thing, pit one car against another to use as a prop to build the other one up. If the M2 is that good, it will stand on its own merits. Not because one has more buttons or the author doesn't happen to like a certain car.

In simpler terms, it is the usual argument. You aren't a true enthusiast because you drive xyz car or because it is equipped in a certain way. It's an old overused narrative.

Like I said, if the M2 is that good it will stand on its own merits and attain a somewhat legendary status like the 1M has all on its own. It won't need a straw man argument to help make it look better.
+1 Just love how the "purist" twisty road bovine fodder by-products always manages to puff up these reviews.

Waiting to see the Lightning Laps numbers on the M2 before anointing it the second coming of anything. So far the "paper" specs compared to the 1M & 135is are a bit underwhelming.

Am wondering what the 107mph 1/4 trap speed & sub 6K shift speed says about its true power output.
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Old 02-23-2016, 03:16 AM
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+1 Just love how the "purist" twisty road bovine fodder by-products always manages to puff up these reviews.

Waiting to see the Lightning Laps numbers on the M2 before anointing it the second coming of anything. So far the "paper" specs compared to the 1M & 135is are a bit underwhelming.

Am wondering what the 107mph 1/4 trap speed & sub 6K shift speed says about its true power output.
I'm not knocking track/ twisty driving, but I usually find these are the guys that claim to push their cars to the limit, yet a majority are scared to go to the limit lol

One thing to throw expensive suspension kits on already well equipped cars with cup2 tires, 300-500hp, and claim the expertise, another with two chunks of concrete on each side and go 140 in the 1/8th in a daily driver at the track , but that's just me.
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Old 02-27-2016, 10:53 AM
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Nice write up and honest review. I believe the M2 to be quite popular.

I think for the fifty one grand starting marl this is a normal priced performance machine. With prices of many M4 s coming closer to 80 grand this M2 offers a nice sporting machine that is not that far above the average price of cars sold in America.

That means a lot to a lot of buyers who purchase and don't lease.

Here is a sports coupe that delivers a lot of fun. Seats four in a pinch....comes with either manual or a dct and tops out around 55 grand..

Will the m2 be the fastest on the track ? I don't knew yet I do believe from a drivers enjoyment perspective this new M2 will deliver...

I'm not a BMW owner....and all I'm giving is my opinion so take it fwiw.

Well done BMW.

Last edited by JBsZ06; 02-27-2016 at 11:01 AM.
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