2016 BMW M2, Chevrolet Camaro SS, Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R: The Golden Age of Performance [Review]

Awesome Sports Whip Reasonably Price at $50k – 2016 BMW M2

2016 BMW M2

BMW practically invented the sports sedan with the M3, and with the new M2 has created one of the best sports coupes for the money. Although the current M3/M4 is stunningly fast, it has become quite large and arguably a bit dull and uninvolving. While it’s only a tad lighter and a smidge smaller, the M2 brings back some of the magic that made previous generations of the M3 so special.

Much like the short-lived 1 Series M coupe, the F87 M2 grabs liberally from the BMW parts bin but manages to create a surprisingly synergistic whole. The best M car to date still uses the older N55 engine from the M235i, but with the pistons from the new S55 engine used in the M3/M4. Output is 365 horsepower and peak torque is 345 lb-ft, with an overboost to 369 lb-ft available under certain conditions.

Despite these more modest numbers, the M2 is plenty quick. BMW claims a 4.1 second 0-60 time, which is only a tenth or two slower than the M3. The brakes are lifted straight out of the larger M3/M4, and the M2 wears the same sticky Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires in a slightly smaller size.

I had the chance to drive the M2 both on the track and on some backroads outside of Carmel, CA, and came away very impressed. The steering still feels a bit numb but overall the car feels quite nimble and alive. The gutsy engine provides plenty of power without the fear that you’ll end up in a ditch if you accidently goose it a bit too much.

Some folks have griped about BMW’s decision to only make the manual transmission’s rev-matching feature defeatable if you disable the traction control, but when diving into the Andretti hairpin at triple digit speeds, we can’t help but say that we kinda liked the more stress-free downshifting.

With a base MSRP of $51,700, the M2 provides an excellent value proposition. For just a little more coin than a 435i (and almost $15k less than an M4), you get a much more engaging vehicle. If you’re in the market for a $50-60k sports coupe, and you can live without the rear seat room, buying a BMW M2 is a no-brainer.

MSRP $51,700
Engine 3.0-liter, DOHC, 24-valve inline 6-cylinder with M TwinPower Turbo technology
Power (bhp) 365 @ 6,500 rpm
Torque (lb-ft) 343 @ 1,400-5,560 rpm ( 369 lb.ft. with overboost)
Transmission 6-Speed manual or a 7-speed double-clutch automatic with Drivelogic®
Drivetrain layout Longitudinally mounted front engine / rear-wheel drive
Curb weight 3,505 lbs
EPA-estimated fuel economy (mpg) 22/30 (city/highway)
Acceleration 0-60 mph 4.4 seconds (M/T
Top track speed 155 mph (electronically limited)