I’ll be the first to admit BMW’s latest creation doesn’t look at bad as the spy shots suggested it would. Mind you, that’s like saying Stalin wasn’t as bad as Hitler. It’s true, but you still wouldn’t have a poster on your wall.
Releasing the M2 in Toronto Red opposed to the Zandvoort Blue we saw in the spy shots was a smart move, because there it looked like it had a body kit I’d have put on a car in Need For Speed 10+ years ago. In this striking red colour however you could nearly say they’ve pulled it off.
The rear arches are are reminiscent of the old E30s boxy hips and there’s something quite M6 about the front end which is no bad thing. The standard two-series is a bit of an ugly duckling to begin with though, so you can hardly blame BMW M for not being able to polish this turd. And at least most of the glitter they’ve rolled it instead has stuck.
Underneath appears initially to be quite exciting. A straight-six with 454bhp (up 90hp from the outgoing model), three pedals and rear-drive only. However, all that questionable bodywork is apparently very heavy as the new M2 has gained around 200kg.
Unofficially at least, BMW has admitted that weight doesn’t matter to them anymore. What I suspect that really means is that it doesn’t matter to the majority of their customer base and therefore by extension, they can’t be bothered to spend millions shaving off kilos if no one is going to care or perhaps even notice.
It’s sad if that is indeed the case and would argue that it may be a little short-sighted on BMWs part. M cars have that legendary aura thanks to the desirability and acclaim true petrolheads and journalists alike muster up. And those are people who do care about things like weight.
Those ‘true’ petrolheads aren’t normally the ones to go diving into a brand new M car at full whack, but I’m sure that the overwhelming opinion of such petrolheads is what makes those willing to, want to. Without this backbone of devout petrolheads propping up the M pedestal, perhaps it will topple and with it, residuals and eventually the desirability M cars command further down the road.
A man buying a car based on what it will say about him more so than what it does, may not care that it weighs two-tonnes with some other humans and luggage on board, but he surely will care if the people he’s trying to impress actually think he’s a goon for doing so. And if M cars fail to garner the same level of respect they’ve historically had, perhaps that’s the way it will go. See Toyota, who are doing precisely the opposite.
But with EVs on the horizon maybe BMW simply don’t care. Or maybe I’m just plain wrong and clearly letting my bitterness of not being to afford an M2 shine through (this new one is £60k by the way). I suspect despite the weight this will be an exceptional drivers car and perhaps I should just be grateful that the grill is in proportion and new fossil burning sports cars are still being produced this day and age.