Munich - BMW has fired up the compact high-performance wars by unleashing a new 302kW version of its M2 coupe.

The new M2 Competition employs a detuned version of the 317kW three-litre straight six TwinPower engine used by its bigger brothers, the M3 and M4. In M2 Competition guise the torque has also been bumped up to 550Nm – the same as the M3/M4 – giving Bavaria’s latest baby bomber a significant performance hike over the standard 272kW/500Nm M2 it replaces.

Headed for South Africa in September at a price yet to be announced, the M2 Competition comes in dual-clutch automatic and manual guises with the ability to scorch the 0-100km/h sprint in just 4.2 seconds (M-DCT automatic) and 4.4 seconds (six-speed manual).

Top speed is governed to 250km/h, but the limiter can be raised to 280 km/h with the optional M Driver´s Package.

The M2 Competition comes with an upgraded cooling system with increased air flow, including a new front skirt and larger, redesigned BMW kidney in high-gloss black.

It’s also tricked-out with an exclusive new metallic Hockenheim Silver paint job, forged alloy 19-inch wheels, double-arm wing mirrors, and optional M Sport brakes with grey brake calipers. A dual exhaust system with electronic flap control provides the distinctive M sound.

Customers can also order optional M Sport bucket seats with integrated headrests incorporating an illuminated M2 badge.

BMW’s M division have also improved the driving dynamics by adding a carbon fibre reinforced plastic strut across the engine compartment – the same as in the M3/M4. This improves front section rigidity and increases steering precision.

The electromechanical power steering, the Active M Differential and the Dynamic Steering Control (DSC) system have also been adjusted to match the increased power.

Selector switches on the centre console allow the driver to change the settings for the engine and steering, and for the gearshift functions in the M DCT version. The various configurations can be combined with one another in whichever way the driver prefers and can be stored for easy access using the M1 and M2 buttons on the steering wheel.

The standard range of equipment now includes a red start/stop button, adaptive LED headlights and front Park Distance Control (PDC).