Munich, Germany - The M2 Competition is beyond doubt the hairiest, most extreme 2 Series BMW yet, but just how extreme is now up to you, with a wide range of aftermarket go-fast components available from the M skunk works, specially for this model.
The most important - from a South African point of view anyway - is the M Performance exhaust system , a lightweight stainless-steel system with an exhaust flap, titanium rear silencer and 93mm carbon-fibre tailpipes.
It doesn’t deliver any extra power - the three-litre biturbo straight six, lifted straight from the M4, stays at 302kW and 5550Nm - but it’s eight kilograms lighter than the stock system and, according to the M petrolheads, the soundtrack ranges from merely sporty (in Efficient mode) to downright intimidating in Sport and Sport+ modes.
The rest of the catalogue is all about fine-tuning the car’s dynamics and reducing weight wherever possible, starting with a suspension retrofit kit that allows for ride-height adjustment (to as much as 20mm lower than stock), as well as 12-click compression and 16-click rebound damping adjustment. Set up for your individual driving style, BMW says it will provide significantly more neutral handling and reduced body roll in corners.
Also available as a retrofit are larger, internally ventilated and perforated compound brake discs, with Sports Brake System Red six-piston front and four-piston rear aluminium callipers and high-performance brake pads derived from endurance racing for more brake force under extreme conditions.
Together with the new 19 inch Style 763, Y-spoked, forged-alloy wheels and optional Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres, unsprung weight is reduced by 3.2 kilograms.
More of the light stuff
Weight-saving starts in earnest with a carbon-fibre bonnet, complete with powerdome, nine kilograms lighter than the standard steel part, a carbon-fibre roof (knock off about another five kilograms), a carbon-fibre tailgate (lose another six kilos), and carbon fibre front wings with integrated air outlets.
Then you can add on from a range of carbon-fibre aero components, developed specially and hand-made for this model to guarantee a perfect fit, including a front splitter, kidney grille, air breather side bars, side mirror housings, door sill-plates, side skirt extensions, rear diffuser and rear spoiler.
You can even order a stunningly beautiful clear-lacquered carbon-fibre engine cover, which nobody but you and your mechanic will ever see - but you’ll know it’s there.
Professional driving analysis
The M Performance drive analyser uses a special stick that plugs into the car’s on-board diagnostics port (in the footwell) and a dedicated smartphone app to record driving speed, engine data, accelerator and brake use, and lateral acceleration, for later analysis and sharing (read ‘bench-racing and bragging rights in the pub’) in the form of videos or graphic displays.
You also have a choice of two aftermarket M steering wheels for your M2 Competition - the purist leather and alcantara-trimmed Pro and the Performance with open-pore carbon fibre, alcantara trim and race display on the upper rim, showing a stopwatch and a G-force meter in Sport mode, and a stopwatch reading to one hundredth of a second in Race mode, along with a gear-shift indicator.
More style comes from special floor mats, stainless-steel pedal covers, and a carbon-fibre and alcantara trim kit that includes a replacement gear-shift lever knob or gear-selector switch, and carbon-fibre transmission and hand brake handles. You can even upgrade the key with a special case in alcantara and carbon fibre, which won’t make the car go any faster, but will earn you street cred points in the pub.