What even is an M2 Competition?
Well, I’m glad you asked. The M2 already has a special place in every motorists’ heart, and when it was announced that the M2 would have a Competition model, every petrolhead for obvious reasons got very excited. For those who don’t know, the Competition badge has always been a way for BMW to fix and fine-tune the mistakes of the launch car, but this year it was different, very different.
The BMW always felt like a baby M-car and not a proper M-car to most petrolheads. I feel in this model BMW set out to change that, and oh boy it did. BMW not only gave this car the Competition overhaul by fixing the mistakes of the previous, adding a bodykit and M-seats, BMW took it to a whole new level: fitting the M3/M4 engine (and that beautiful carbon-fibre strut), the ‘Active M Differential’ and M-dynamic mode (basically a controllable drift button). This upgrade makes it feel like a brand-new car, and I’ve never been happier with an upgrade.
What’s it like to drive?
Ever since I was old enough to love cars, I have always rated cars on how much they make me uncontrollably and unknowingly smile. In fact, the only way you realise that a car has this effect on you, is after you stop and can’t help but feel the pain in your jaw from smiling so much. This car definitely goes on that list. Sliding this car coming out of an intersection or around a corner, or using what I like to call mobile launch control (back to that in a minute), makes me smile and laugh as much as is bearable.
Back to that mobile launch control, one of my top three features of this car (even though it's on most M-cars). Ever just wanted to launch the hell out of your car, but don’t want to have to stop? Ever wanted to show off your new car to your friends? Ever wanted to ensure the biggest smile ever on your face? Well, worry no more for BMW is just as insane.
If you push the throttle down to the kick-down and pull the left paddle shifter, the car instantly clicks into the lowest gear possible and gives you lift-off like Apollo VII. Then you run through the gears for as long as you can, or until your passenger yells at you to stop. It’s so much fun and gives you the capacity to put a smile on any bad day or lose your licence very quickly, whichever comes first…
This car no longer feels like a buff 2 Series, but a mini M3, and that is by no means a bad thing. This engine will slide and rev all day long, which for a long time has been the M3’s party piece. It’s a car that will just make you want to drive it all day long dropping gears and losing traction, and trust me you’ll never have so much fun.
It’s a car that you’re not afraid to drive hard. It just feels so controllable (when you’re the driver), and you can drive it hard all day long with no crashes to report. It’s a car that makes you want to drive it hard and is straining at the leash, yet when you put it into Comfort mode it feels civilised and comfortable, even with non-adjustable suspension.
Unfortunately, all cars come with drawbacks and the M2C is no exception, but thankfully nothing that would really stop you from buying the car, they're just inconvenient.
The first thing we start with is CarPlay. While I do love CarPlay, and use it constantly, BMW for some reason thought this would be a great place to make some money by requiring you to buy a subscription for CarPlay. That is very annoying, but still worth it in my opinion.
The second thing we have to complain about is the back seats. Yes, surprisingly the back seats in a coupe aren’t amazing. I know right, shock! But definitely liveable, although I would like some more leg room for journeys under an hour if you don’t take breaks; they are not uncomfortable. You can easily do a road trip if you stop to stretch once in a while. Trust me, after living with a 911 for a week with two other people, these back seats feel like a Rolls-Royce.
The only other problem I have with the back seats is that they have no grip handles, which is very annoying for a car that you throw around twisty mountain roads. Nothing to hold onto while going 100km/h through a national park is not fun, and makes you feel very sick if you’re not used to it. Also, having no roof handles in the front is annoying.
Thirdly, in the EU right before this car came out, they introduced new emissions regulations that made BMW have to scramble for a solution for this car before it could be released. BMW found a solution and I’m not happy. It had to put a filter in the exhaust, which makes it sound much worse than those sold in other places that don’t require it. This shows how bad it is, as BMW wanted to keep the other one where it could.
But this can also be fixed, though not for free. Thankfully, the saviours at Akrapovic thought this was unacceptable and designed a new legal exhaust with no filter that sounds much better. So, if you do have the filter, I highly recommend checking that out.
And that’s all I have to complain about. Only four small complaints isn't bad. Also, this car gives you the capacity to lose your licence very quickly, so be careful. Okay, now five small complaints, but that’s it.
What if I have a family?
Well, if you have a family, you’re in luck. The previously mentioned rear seats are fine for kids, and still fine for teens and even adults. I’m 6ft and I’m fine sitting in the back. The seats are leather, so they're ready for any spills that come with kids, and the boot is large enough for two pieces of luggage and four boxes of wine. Trust me, I know. Or without the wine, you could probably fit four medium-sized suitcases, or five depending on how good your Tetris skills are.
At this point, you're probably pretty convinced but you’re just wondering 'will my wife let me buy it?'. Well sir, that’s a whole different ball game and you’re on your own there. All I have to say to you is good luck.
The M2C is a brilliantly balanced tyre destroyer that will ensure a smile that will make your jaw ache. It’s not perfect, but is ready for a family if it must, and is always there as a friend and pal to make you smile on your worst days, and ensure every track day is one of your best. It’s ready for anything you throw at it, and that’s why I believe it’s the perfect M-car. Practical yet insane, and undeniably German.