BMW has whipped the covers off the M2 Competition, two weeks after the hottest compact M car was leaked on the BMW Australia website.
As we learned on April 9, the Competition will be powered by a twin-turbo version of the 3.0-litre inline-six engine powering the regular M2. Power has been bumped from 272kW to 302kW, and peak torque jumps from 465Nm to 550Nm. That torque figure is a match for the M4 Competition.
There's more to the revised engine than an extra turbo. A closed deck block is designed to increase crankcase rigidity and support the extra boost on tap, while revised cylinder bores have been fitted to save weight. The oil supply system has been reworked with a new sump cover to minimise 'surge' under stress on the track, and there's an extra oil extraction pump on board.
With one central radiator, two side radiators and an extra engine oil cooler, the M4 Competition-derived cooling system is designed to keep the more potent engine at ideal operating temperature during a beating on the racetrack.
Finally, the engine breathes through a new quad-pipe exhaust system, complete with electrically-controlled flaps to maximise noise (or minimise, if you're boring).
The result of all these changes is significant – with the seven-speed M dual-clutch transmission specced, the car will hit 100km/h in 4.2 seconds. Breathe easy, angry enthusiasts, a six-speed manual will be offered as a no-cost option – BMW has gone to the trouble of fitting a carbon-fibre friction lining to save weight, too.
Under the skin, there's a carbon-fibre strut brace borrowed from the M3 and M4 Competition, and there are play-free ball joints and unique bearings in the suspension. BMW has tweaked the electro-mechanical steering system, along with the Active M Differential and stability control calibration to work with the new suspension setup.
While we're talking about the differential, BMW says it can actively lock while the car's stationary. For example, while pulling away from a wet intersection, the car can actively work to prevent the inside wheel from spinning before you accelerate.
Working in tandem with 245/35 front and 265/35 rear tyres, wrapped around new forged alloy wheels, the electronics should make the more powerful M2 reasonably manageable when you flatten your foot. When it comes time to stop, there are 400mm front and 380mm rear brakes, clamped by six- and four-piston calipers respectively.
You'll be able to distinguish the Competition from more 'mundane' M2 and M2 Pure variants by its fresh front skirt, black grille and dark exhaust, along with those forged alloy wheels.
Inside, there are unique sill plates and seats with an illuminated logo in the backrest. You also get M1 and M2 configuration buttons on the steering wheel, something lacking in the standard model. Two new colours – Hockenheim Silver and Sunset Orange – have been added to the options list.
Adaptive LED headlights are standard, along with parking sensors, a rear-view camera, pedestrian monitoring with city-speed autonomous emergency braking, and lane departure warning.
Local pricing and specifications will be revealed closer to launch, which will come before the end of 2018.