Driving enthusiasts often choose BMW because the brand has a reputation for amazing sports cars. My opinion has generally been that BMW vehicles are a mixed bag, with some ordinary models and some amazingly bright stars. The 2017 BMW M2 coupe is one of the brightest stars ever to appear in the BMW lineup.
The 2-series is available as a coupe or cabriolet, and you have a choice of the 4-cylinder M230i , the 6-cylinder M240i, or the top M2 performance model. I drove the M2 for a week, and it was utterly delightful, offering up 365 horsepower and 343 pound-feet of torque from a 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder turbocharged engine, with rear-wheel-drive and a sport coupe body that is nothing short of breathtaking.
The M2 comes with a 6-speed manual gearbox as standard equipment, but you can also order it with a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission if you like a two-pedal solution. The more basic 2-Series cars come only with an 8-speed automatic. Fuel economy on the M2 is 18 MPG city and 26 MPG highway. You can bump those numbers to 24 MPG city and 35 MPG highway by selecting the M230i. It's also worth mentioning that you can get the M230i and M240i with all-wheel-drive.
Inside, the M2 is one of the most comfortable BMWs in recent years. If you're a larger man like me, the seat bolsters in European cars are often too tight and can be painful. The M2 seats offer good side and lumbar support, and definitely let you know you're in a sports car. The rest of the interior has sporty carbon fiber touches rather than luxury trim, and you'll enjoy BMW's full technology suite with navigation, BMW iDrive, and a Harman Kardon stereo.
On the road, the M2 demands to be driven. BMW's twin-scroll turbocharger gives you instant power at lower RPM, and the power stays smooth all the way to redline. The relatively light curb weight of 3,450 pounds means that there's plenty of available power at all times. You also get a sports car braking system with fixed calipers and cross-drilled brake discs front and rear.
The M2 bodywork also defines its sports car personality, with big fender flares to cover the substantial tire footprint on 19-inch wheels. Finally, the optional Long Beach Blue Metallic paint strikes the perfect balance between a car that stands out from the crowd, and not standing out too much.
The BMW M2 isn't cheap — the starting price is $53,495, inclusive of all fees. The test car also had an Executive Package with heated steering wheel, rear view camera, park distance control, and driving assistant for lane departure and forward collision warnings. At just $1,400, that's a package you want. If you're looking for an ultimate sports car, you really need to experience the 2017 BMW M2 coupe.
2017 BMW M2 Coupe
Base price: $53,495
Price as tested: $55,595
Type: Compact Coupe
Engine: 3.0-liter turbocharged 6-cylinder (365 hp, 343 lbs-ft)
Transmission: 6-speed manual or 7-speed dual clutch
EPA estimated mileage: 18/26
Road noise: Quiet
Curb weight: 3,450 pounds
Final assembly: Leipzig, Germany