Seat Time: 2016 BMW M2 – One Trick Pony

November 7th, 2016 at 3:27pm

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Seat Time is a chance for us to share our impressions of vehicles being tested in the Autoline Garage and at media previews from around the globe.

Reviewer: Sean McElroy
Vehicle: 2016 BMW M2
Price: $56,500

Final Impression:

It seems to go without fail when we get a convertible or sports car at the office that some sort of weather phenomenon hits, rendering the best attributes of these vehicles useless. Thankfully the clouds parted ways just long enough for me to romp on the BMW M2 for a little while. And what a blast. It may start out life as a 2 Series, but little is carried over into the M2.

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The turbocharged 3.0L inline 6-cylinder engine makes an awesome sound when wound out. It cranks out 365-horsepower and 343 lb-ft of torque and can be mated to either a 6-speed manual or 7-speed DCT. My tester had the manual, Yay!, which launches the M2 to 60 MPH in 4.4 seconds. But that’s just in a straight line. The car is equally as happy going fast in the corners. The suspension setup is very good and with big ol’ sticky Michelin tires it gives a lot of confidence to go barrelling into turns. My advise to anyone that gets behind the wheel: grip it and rip it. But just in case, there’s large brake calipers and rotors to bring the car to a quick stop.

However, for the true driving purists out there, the M2 likely is not for you. Too many electrical nannies as they say. You can shut them off, but it still takes something away from the car. Who wants to push a bunch of buttons and switch driving modes all the time? Plus, some are good to have for everyday driving, like traction control. The most noticeable is what BMW calls engagement speed control function. In other words, the system blips the throttle on downshifts and lowers the engine’s revs on upshifts. This is for those that haven’t mastered the art of heal-toe driving. Not that it’s a bad thing, but this and electric power steering don’t really reflect ‘Ultimate Driving Machine’ to me. Just sayin’.

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I do like the interior. You get all the nice M touches, which includes a lot of carbon and the seats are comfortable and supportive, even for a tall person. The M2 comes with the latest-generation of iDrive, which has come a long way since the early days and a large center-mounted touchscreen. There’s also access to the BMW ConnectedDrive Services. By downloading smartphone apps, drivers get feedback, like engine speed, steering angle, fuel economy and lap times.

But I found the BMW M2 to be a one trick pony. As good as it is and fun to drive fast, it’s equally as terrible in everyday driving. It’s like Jekyll and Hyde. The ride is very rough and it took work to drive in a civil manner. If you don’t race on a track or drive on twisty roads, the BMW M2 is likely not for you.

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