3 Reasons Why BMW M2 is #CarsAwards Finalist

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What makes the BMW M2 M-DCT a potent contender in the Performance Car category of the 2017/18 Cars.co.za Consumer Awards – powered by WesBank? We investigate…

The BMW M2 was easily one of the most talked-about introductions in recent times. It appears to have everything that any sports car aficionado would want. Muscular looks. Check. Exciting engine sounds. Check. Sizzling performance. Check. Engaging, smile-inducing handling. Double check! Will the M2 retain its champion status in this category?

3 Reasons Why BMW M2 is #CarsAwards Finalist

1. Engaging drivetrain

The M2 is powered by an engine that has “future legend” written all over it. Loosely based on the single-turbo N55 engine of the M240i, but with internals borrowed from the current M3/M4 and expertly tweaked by the masters at BMW’s M division, the M2’s six-pot delivers 272 kW and 465 Nm of torque, enough to blitz the benchmark 0-100 kph sprint in 4.3 seconds.

The engine is mated with BMW’s superb 7-speed M-DCT dual-clutch transmission. It’s a thoroughly engaging combination, and wringing the engine’s neck all the way to the red line is seriously addictive.

2. Proficient handler

A popular opinion of recent M cars is that to find an optimal balance between dynamic damping and overall ride comfort an adaptive active suspension is a must-have option, but it can be argued the M2 demonstrates that less can be more. Sure, expert pilots can toggle the steering settings and throttle sensitivity to their tastes – and even set the stability control system to facilitate indulgent (but-not-too-leery) tail-slide action – but, as a budding enthusiast’s driving tool, the M2 seems docile, as if well confident within its (sizeable) performance envelope.

One would expect that the relatively truncated wheelbase would make the M2 feel slightly on edge near the limits of adhesion, but its chassis palpably inhibits twitchiness. That, or perhaps the Bimmer communicates the interplay between its front/rear ends and terra firma so articulately (through the rim of the steering wheel and the base of the driver’s seat) that well-judged braking and steering inputs become almost instinctive to an absorbed M2 pilot.

3. Looks to match the go

The M2 is a pure mini muscle car, particularly in profile, and the aerodynamic addenda are eminently tasteful. The Long Beach Blue paint finish (one of only four colour options) lends the M2 a sense of theatre, which is helped by those eye-catching 10-spoke two-tone 19-inch rims and the quartet of burbling exhaust ends. The interior is derivative of the 1 Series/2 Series cabin, with “carbon-weave” trim, dashes of Alcantara (on the door cards) and contrast stitching being the most obvious supplementary adornments, apart from strategic M lettering. Oh, and then there’s the sound of the thing. You’ll struggle to get greater performance car music for less than R1 million.

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