Taking its entry-level coupe line to a higher level of performance, BMW has unveiled a range-topping model that goes well beyond the current M235i. Arriving in dealers here next spring, the 2016 BMW M2 succeeds the now-departed BMW 1M Coupe, but boasts more power, enhanced technology and more attitude. 

Motivation for the new BMW M2 comes from a new M-spec 3.0-liter TwinPower Turbo inline-6 that borrows components and design tech from the current M3/M4 engines. Tuned to make 365 horses, it also develops 343 lb-ft of peak torque between 1,400 and 5,560 rpm -- that's 70+ more twist units than the previous-generation M3 -- while an overboost function allows that figure to hit 369 lb ft for short time periods. Backed by the standard 6-speed manual with automatic rev matching, the M2 can streak to 60 mph in 4.4 seconds. Pairing it with the latest paddle-shift 7-speed M Double Clutch Transmission with multi-mode Drivelogic and Launch Control slices the time to 4.2 ticks. Top speed with either gearbox is limited to 155 mph and all versions of the rear-drive M2 feature Auto Start Stop, Brake Energy Regeneration and intelligent management of accessories to bolster fuel economy.

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Lightweight aluminum suspension

To ensure superb handing, BMW engineers patterned the M2's chassis after the M3/M4, using lightweight, forged aluminum in its front and rear suspension while adding bespoke stiffening elements, revising the geometry and widening the track dimensions to deliver more precise control. This works in concert with an M-spec electric power steering unit and 19-inch Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires -- 245/35s up front and 265/35s at the rear -- mounted on lightweight forged alloy wheels. A fully-adjustable, torque-vectoring Active M Differential and lightweight M compound high-performance brakes are also including in the M2 package. In addition to its custom-tuned stability control system, the new M2 also boasts an M Dynamic Mode with a track-focused Sport+ setting that allows a greater degree of slip before intervening. 

In keeping with its high performance character, the new BMW M2 makes a bold visual statement inspired by iconic models like the BMW 2002 and 3.0 CSL racer. Here too, form follows function as the more aggressive front and rear fascias incorporate wind-cheating/channeling elements that collectively reduce drag by five percent and lower lift by 35 percent in addition to improving the car's high-speed aero balance. 

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The M2's cabin also has deeply bolstered sport buckets covered in black Dakota leather with blue stitching and M logos in the backrests. These are set off with Alcantara trim and open-pore carbon fiber dash accents along with M-spec gauge graphics, door sill plates and footrest. More familiar touches include a standard navigation and iDrive touch controller while optional ConncetedDrive Services can be augmented by a GoPro app and M Laptimer app allowing the driver to record, analyze and share information from any circuit session. The 2016 BMW M2 will make its public debut at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show in January. It will arrive in showrooms this April with a starting price of $52,695.


 

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