2016 BMW M2 breaks cover with stylish design, 3.0-liter inline engine

Article by Christian A., on October 14, 2015

BMW M GmbH has revealed details on its latest offering -- the 2016 BMW M2. This newest addition to the brand’s family has the M badge. In line with the M tradition, the 2016 BMW M2 has a 6-cylinder engine giving it the driving dynamics and power delivery needed on a race track.

A combination of the light M Sport aluminium suspension with the agility of rear-wheel drive ensures that it comes with the trademark driving performance expected of the M series. With the state-of-the-art M TwinPower Turbo, torque is made accessible even with a wide range of revolution.

This same TwinPower Turbo also improves efficiency and allows faster responses resulting in a unique engine sound. The BMW M2 will be made available starting in early 2016 at authorized dealers and will include a limited range of options.

The upgrades do not stop there. While the engine and the transmission already exhibit the dynamic potential of the M2, it still needs to be applied while on the road. One of these ways was to integrate the specially developed tires to its axle.

The engineers at BMW know that in order to display a sports car’s high-performance, there are a number of factors to consider. For example, the front wheels must be able handle the different forces that are present when ensuring stability, both directional and lateral.

The front wheels must also be able to deliver steering precision and feedback. Meanwhile, the rear wheels have to give directional and lateral stability and provide the best traction at the same time. Putting all these into consideration plus the results of testing, engineers put aluminium wheels to the M2 with the addition of mixed-sized tires.

The 19-inch forged wheels are lightweight and thus can not only reduce the rotation but also the mass of the suspension. The wheels measure 9J x 19 for the front axle while for the rear axle it is 10J x 19. For the tires, BMW went with the Michelin Pilot Super Sport 19-inch tires that measure 245/35 ZR 19 and 265/35 ZR 19, for the front and rear respectively.

This particular combination adds to the M2’s already superior dynamic properties while also improving the ride comfort that is expected from any BMW product. The influence of motor sport can also be seen in its high-performance brakes and is easily identifiable by the blue metallic brake calipers with the M logo placed on the front axle.

There are four piston-fixed calipers on the front axle while two are on the rear. For the M2, the grey cast-iron brake disc ring is both inner-vented and perforated. The ones on the front axle have a diameter of 15 inches while the rear axle has ones that measure 14.5 inches.

The M2’s compound brakes are so powerful that it allows deceleration regardless of the condition. As such, this can inspire fade resistance when used on the hard track. With the brake disc hub being made of aluminium, it is lighter compared to the traditional braking systems and like the wheels; they help reduce the rotating and unsprung masses.

Thus, it is expected that it will have a large role when it comes to enhancing further the M2’s ability. It won’t be an M series without Electric Power Steering. In developing this steering system, the priority was to make sure that the qualities for which the M was known for could be experienced.

Thus in addition to having that direct steering feel, the system also gives accurate feedback not just for everyday driving but also at the track. This helps the driver as it provides the needed information especially on the tires’ available grip.

A Servotronic function has been incorporated and when combined with M-specific qualities, it allows for control of steering assistance level with regards to the speed of the car. The switch of the Driving Dynamic Control enables the driver to make the necessary adjustments on the steering power assistance when needed.

Another feature of the BMW M2 is the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) which also includes the M Dynamic Mode (MDM). The DSC system is able to stabilize the car by neutralizing the loss of traction and even the understeer or oversteer.

This is achieved through different measures like applying the brake on individual wheels or reducing the power of the engine. It can also be adjusted to ensure that the wheel slip can give an advantage even at certain circumstances like when driving on a race track.

Exterior Design

Outside the M2, the influence of the M design features can be observed as well. Looking at its front end for example, the kidney grille is a giveaway that it is a BMW not just because it has the M logo but also because of the double bars that have been painted black, clearly replicating the double-spoke wheels scheme of the M.

The grille has the feel of a “shark nose” due to its three-dimensional design. The BMW M2 also gives a more contemporary look to the twin circular headlights. This enhances the forward-surging look of the M2 while showing that it indeed has a close association, design-wise, with the kidney grille.

It also refines the focus of this new model. There are additional design cues that remind those who are looking at the BMW M2 of what they have often seen over the years in motor sport. Two examples of these are the Air Curtains that are in its outer air intakes and the trapezoidal blades on the large front apron.

Particularly for the BMW M2, it is also clear that it has been inspired by the 3.0 CSL touring car racers. The blades though are not the only things that remind us of the past. For the M2, the underlying theme is that form will always follow function.

The Air Curtains for example not only help with the design but they can also guide the air past the wheels effectively. Its wide track can also deflect a portion of the airflow through its wheel arches. When these two functions work together, what happens is that the air turbulence that is typically present on the front wheel arches are greatly decreased resulting in lower drag.

Furthermore, owing to the large air intakes, it is able to meet the cooling air requirements of the engine. Because of the way the airflow has been directed through and around the car, the drag experienced by the M2 is 5% lower than the BMW 2 Series Coupe.

This is made possible even if the new car has a stronger cooling performance. Additional aerodynamic elements reduce by 35% the lift of the M2 and in fact, the car’s balance even at very high speeds has improved.

Viewing the M2 on its side further makes it obvious that it is indeed part of the company’s M family. This starts from the short overhang on the front, to its sweeping hood, and further down to the long wheelbase, and finally to the classic Hofmeister kink on the set-back greenhouse.

It is clear that the starting point was not only the compact dimensions but the characteristic proportions that then add the M’s signature design elements thus establishing further its dynamic look. A good example would be the reinterpreted gills behind the front wheel arches that are reminiscent of the 3.0 CSL.

Aside from adding to its aesthetic appeal, it also sets the swage line through the rear. For those who are not familiar, the swage line is a design trait of classic BMW models. In the case of the BMW 2002, this line extended all around the car.

For the M2, this same line starts from the back portion of the front axle. It then advances to the tail portion which then ties the side with its rear portion. In addition to the swage line, another element that increases the powerful appearance of the M2 can be seen on both the front and rear axle.

These are the sculptural wing extensions. One look at them and they evoke an image of the broad-shouldered and muscular athlete wearing a tight-fit race suit. This adds to the visual effect and highlights the abilities of the M2.

Additionally, the front has been extended by 2.1 inches while the rear gets 3.1 inches more. However this extension to the body work was done not just for its style but in order to fit the wider wheels and track, including the aluminum 19-inch forged rims which come with the well-known double-spoke design of the BMW.

The rear end of the M2 was designed to be broad in order to improve the car’s firm grip on the road especially on asphalt. By putting horizontal lines on both its rear apron and trunk, the impact is increased further. Furthermore, the M rear spoiler that has been put on its trunk lid promotes the dynamic objectives of the M2.

The rear apron has vertical reflectors on its outer edges and when combined with the trapezoidal blades on its front end, they highlight the M2’s strong appearance. Adding even more to its already powerful appearance are the rear lights that have been shaped in the form of an L, which have traditionally been part of the company’s models.

With the LEDs arranged in a horizontal manner, its athletic appearance is boosted. Complementing all these design features is another one of BMW M’s trademark characteristic. Going back to the rear apron, one can see that a diffuser has been incorporated to it. This is a testimony to the racing capabilities of the M2 as well as a nod to its aerodynamics.

Furthermore, the rear apron has that all too familiar quartet of high-gloss chrome exhaust tailpipes. This feature puts focus on the M2’s low center of gravity as well as the dynamic performance of the model. The company has made four paint finishes available for the exterior of the M2 which include: Mineral Grey metallic, Long Beach Blue metallic, Black Sapphire metallic, and Alpine White.

Interior Design

As expected from all M models from BMW, the M2’s interior is remarkable for its almost perfect ergonomics and its design that improves the driver’s focus. Much like the exterior, the interior architecture has equipment made specifically for the M series.

There is for instance the sports seats that come in black Dakota leather and stitched with blue contrast with the backrest carrying the M logo. The seats have what are called as adjustable side bolsters which give the occupants on the front, the driver and passenger, better support when going through fast corners.

The center console has a knee pad and M footrest which continue the theme. The instruments inside the M2 further give hints to its performance potential. Take for example the tachometer that can reach a maximum of 8,000 rpm. The speedometer meanwhile has a scale that goes as high as 200 mph.

Other standard M equipment includes the M leather steering wheel and the shift paddles. The M logos can also be found on the door sill plates, gearshift lever, and tachometer. Additional highlights of the M2’s interior are the door panel inserts with Alcantara, shift lever boot, and parking brake boot. There is also the trim strip with an open pore carbon-fiber surface.


Its 6-cylinder 3.0-liter inline engine is capable of delivering 365 bhp between revolutions of 6,500 and 7,000 rpm. This makes the new model even more powerful than the BMW 1 M Coupe and sends a message to other sports cars in its segment to watch out.

The engine can also deliver the highest peak torque for its class at 343 lb.-ft. in revolutions between 1,450 and 4,750 rpm. When the overboost function is triggered, it can increase the torque even further by 26 lb.-ft. to 369 lb.-ft in revolutions from 1,450 rpm to 4,750 rpm.

Though it does not appear to be a high torque value, when compared to the M3 generation it is greater by 70 lb.-ft. What this means is that for the BMW M2, it will always have the necessary torque that it needs regardless of the driving situation it is faced with.

Helping the engine is the Launch Control and six-speed manual gearbox which when activated allows this new model to accelerate from 0 mph to 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds. However BMW M2 also gives the option to have the M Double Clutch Transmission which when activated lowers the time to 4.2 seconds.

Regardless of what transmission is used though, speed has been electronically limited enabling it to only reach a maximum of 155 mph.

BMW M2’s new engine is a good example of how efficiency will always have a relationship with output. It has a closed-deck design which results in its rigidity. Being closed-deck also means that its cylinder water jacket has been closed on its top.

As such, higher cylinder pressures are possible giving it not just better power output but also improved torque. Overall, the body of the BMW M2 is made of aluminium making it lightweight and thermodynamically maximized.

The M TwinPower Turbo technology inside the inline gasoline engine has the latest components which include the High Precision Direct Injection, TwinScroll turbocharger, variable camshaft timing or the Double-VANOS, and the variable VALVETRONIC valve lift control.

These different upgrades were done on the engine by the company’s development engineers in order to meet the high expectations of many sports drivers who would want to exceed the limits when on the race track. The same upgrades also improve the BMW M2 in order to meet the strictest of standards.

Many of the components used in its 6.0-cylinder engine have been obtained from some of the brand’s previous high performance units. These include elements from M3 and M4, both of which were originally presented back in 2014.

One example of the component from these two models is the piston whose top ring has been optimized by utilizing grey-cast iron liners. The crankshaft main bearing shells is another example. Of course, as expected from BMW, the M2 has the standard spark plugs that have been customized to work even at high temperatures.

In crafting the engine, engineers at BMW made it a point to make it reflect the brand’s years of experience in motor racing. Consider the way in which the engine is supplied with oil. In order to make sure that the oil is able to reach every component, the engine gets help with a modified oil sump.

As such, oil is provided to the engine even when it experiences continuous heavy lateral acceleration especially when the M2 is being pushed to its limits and even when it undergoes extreme braking maneuvers like when it is on the race track. The M2 is equipped with the six-speed manual gearbox which is standard for every BMW model.

Due to the low weight of the M2 and its compact design, the gearbox manages to stand out and with the friction lining made of carbon fiber, the precision of the shift is enhanced even further. One of the problems that an engine faces is that once inside, the transmission oil has a tendency to splash.

However with its dry-sump lubrication, this particular issue is prevented in the M2 thus making sure that each and every component gets the right amount of lubrication. Another problem with many cars is stability when it comes to hard driving especially on the track.

The M2 however has a speed control function that when engaged can lower the revolution of engine on an upshift while it can blip the throttle when on a downshift resulting in better stability. More experienced drivers however who prefer to perform their down-shifts can do so through the DSC OFF mode which can deactivate the system.

In addition to the six-speed manual gearbox, the company offers its M Double Clutch Transmission with the seven-speed as an option. Unlike those found in other cars, the M2’s M DCT with Drivelogic system combines two gearboxes where each gearbox has its own clutch.

Each of the gearboxes has been designed to work well with the dynamics of BMW’s M engines like the power output and high torque. What the system does is that it is able to determine what gear the driver is going to shift to next and then actually engages it before the driver is even able to move the shift paddle.

The system is able to do this by analysing the different parts involved when gear shifting. It looks at the current driving mode, the amount of acceleration, and even the position of the accelerator. Thus not only is it faster to implement a change of gear but it also becomes easier to use the clutch as it only needs to be opened or closed.

Furthermore, depending on the drive mode in place, the gear change can be made even faster without the need to break off any of the power flow or the smooth shift. Since the M DCT system has one gear higher than the standard transmission, it means that it has taller gear ratios allowing for reduced fuel consumption and better spacing of the gears.

Press Release

The new BMW M2 Coupe

A compact high-performance BMW sports car was already causing heads to turn and hearts to flutter over 40 years ago. Indeed, the BMW 2002 turbo perfectly encapsulated BMW’s resolution to deliver outstanding dynamics, exceptional agility and optimum car control. As if to demonstrate in similarly resounding style that this commitment is alive and well, BMW M GmbH can now unveil the new BMW M2. With its high-performance six-cylinder in-line engine, rear-wheel-drive agility, lightweight aluminium M Sport suspension and extrovert styling, the new BMW M2 Coupe has all the ingredients to deliver the last word in driving pleasure.

Characteristic M design.
A single glance is all it takes to pick the new BMW M2 Coupe out as a member of the BMW M family, with its styling also keen to advertise its dynamic attributes. Inspired by models from the history of BMW in motor racing, the new M2 Coupe makes no secret of its extraordinary performance potential. The low front apron with large air intakes, muscular flanks with characteristic M gills, 19-inch aluminium wheels in familiar M double-spoke design and low, wide rear with M-specific twin-tailpipe exhaust system all play impressive roles here. The time-honoured character of BMW M cars is also present and correct in the design of the interior. The Alcantara of the door cards and centre console together with porous carbon fibre creates an ambience of rare quality and heady sporting ambition further underlined by blue contrast stitching and M embossing on selected details. Sports seats, an M sports steering wheel and an M gearshift lever ensure BMW M2 drivers are in perfect command of their car it at all times.

Explosive performance.
The newly developed, three-litre six-cylinder in-line engine in the new BMW M2 deploys cutting-edge M TwinPower Turbo technology to develop 272 kW/370 hp at 6,500 rpm (fuel consumption combined: 8.5 l/100 km [33.2 mpg imp]; CO2 emissions combined: 199 g/km)* and, in so doing, lays down a marker in the high-performance compact sports car segment. The same applies to power delivery. Peak torque of 465 Nm (343 lb-ft) can be increased to as much as 500 Nm (369 lb-ft) in short bursts under overboost. All of which enables the new BMW M2 Coupe with optional seven-speed M Double Clutch Transmission (M DCT) and Launch Control to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 4.3 seconds. Top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h (155 mph). Yet, with its M DCT transmission, fuel consumption of just 7.9 litres* per 100 km (35.8 mpg imp) and CO2 emissions of just 185 g/km*, the car is also keen to emphasise its outstanding efficiency.

Motor sport expertise.
With the lightweight aluminium front and rear axles from the BMW M3/M4 models, forged 19-inch aluminium wheels with mixed-size tyres, M Servotronic steering with two settings and suitably effective M compound brakes, the new BMW M2 Coupe has raised the bar once again in the compact high-performance sports car segment when it comes to driving dynamics. The electronically controlled Active M Differential, which optimises traction and directional stability, also plays a significant role here. And even greater driving pleasure is on the cards when the Dynamic Stability Control system’s M Dynamic Mode (MDM) is activated. MDM allows wheel slip and therefore moderate, controlled drifts on the track.

Intelligent connectivity when you want it.
The new BMW M2 Coupe comes with an extensive list of standard equipment in keeping with its performance-focused set-up. The seven-speed M Double Clutch Transmission (M DCT) with Drivelogic, available as an option, changes gears with extraordinary speed but no interruption in the flow of power. A wide selection of driver assistance systems and mobility services from BMW ConnectedDrive is also available. The ConnectedDrive Services provide the basis for extensive vehicle connectivity, and this option also enables the use of innovative apps, which are integrated seamlessly into the car using BMW ConnectedDrive technology. For example, the GoPro app allows the driver to record fast laps of the track with a dashboard-mounted action camera, using the iDrive Controller and Control Display. Meanwhile, the driver’s individual style at the wheel can be analysed as desired with the M Laptimer app. Information on speeds and braking points can be shared easily via e-mail or Facebook.

From powerful stock.
The new BMW M2 Coupe is not only the direct heir to the successful BMW 1 Series M Coupe, but also – in its underlying philosophy – a descendant of the original E30 BMW M3 and the BMW 2002 turbo. The latter caused a sensation over 40 years ago, embodying the commitment of what is now BMW M GmbH to outstanding dynamics, unbeatable agility and optimal car control.

* Fuel consumption figures based on the EU test cycle, may vary depending on the tyre format specified. .

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Topics: bmw, bmw m2, coupe



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