2016 BMW M2 Coupe Road Test

dsc_0023

The 2016 BMW M2 Coup is Mmm Mmm Good!! They say good things come in small packages and the M2 Coupe is no exception. This is one sweet little package.   Powered by a 3.0-liter M TwinPower Turbo inline 6-cylinder engine putting out 365 horsepower this car is quick but not overpowered. The M2 comes equipped standard with a 6-speed manual gearbox which launches this street racer from 0-60 in a scant 4.3 seconds – 4.1 seconds with the optional 7-speed M double-clutch transmission with Drivelogic, but this car is meant to be manually shifted. BMW has perfectly matched the performance of its M-tuned engine with Michelin’s super sticky Pilot Super Sport tires (265/35 rear and 245/35 front) that are wrapped around BMW’s double spoke black forged light alloy 19 inch wheels. Hard as I tried, I couldn’t spin these tires which gripped at every turn and off every jack rabbit start.

This car is truly a delight to drive and a relative bargain at a base price of $51,700. The exterior of my M2 was bathed in a brilliant Long Beach Blue Metallic paint (add $550) — a truly amazing color. I received more comments on this paint color then almost any other car I have had in years, other then maybe the Sublime Green of the 2015 Dodge Challenger SRT or the Sandstorm Yellow of the 2016 Beetle Dune. The interior was covered in black Daktoa leather with matching blue stitching and carbon fiber trim. My M2 came with the Executive Package (heated steering wheel, rear view camera, park distance control (rear), auto high beams, and active driving assistant) which added an additional $1,200. For this car you don’t need to spend the money. After a $995 destination charge the total was $54,495. You can add Apple CarPlay compatibility for $300. The only other option available is the 7-speed M Double-clutch transmission with integrated Launch Control which will take $2,900 out of your pocket, will reduce (in my humble opinion) the sheer exhilaration of racing through BMW’s awesome 6-speed manual gear box, and all that you get in return is an extra .2 seconds on your 0-60 time (assuming your tires are fresh and the pavement is dry).

dsc_0039dsc_0021

It is definitely a small two-door coupe and has a fairly modest waistline at a mere 3,505 pounds, but unlike some of its 2-door sports car competitors, it has an actual working backseat. If you are like me, a car guy with a wife and teenage kids, it’s a lot easier to convince the wife that it makes practical sense to buy a manually shifted 365 horsepower $55,000 coupe when the kids will actually fit in the backseat. And they do. I took the family out to dinner in the M2 and we all fit with a minimal amount of complaining (mostly from my wife as a result of the cornering and acceleration) – a lot less then when we all tried to fit in the 2016 Audi TTS coupe.   If you are not like me, and don’t have teenage kids (or a wife, for that matter), then you won’t care about the backseat. But its there if you ever need it.

My one major criticism of the M2 is that the automatic rev matching is linked to the electronic stability control and you can’t turn off one without turning off the other. So what is automatic rev matching? In case you didn’t know or you haven’t been in a car that has this (which wouldn’t be surprising due to the dearth of manually shifted cars these days), automatic rev matching is basically the car’s computer trying to teach you how to drive a stick smoothly. The computer will automatically adjust the throttle or engine speed for smoother operation for both upshifts and downshifts. What I would say to BMW is if you don’t know how to drive a manually shifted car the right way you aren’t buying an M2. What I don’t like about it is it doesn’t let you drive the car the way you want to – it forces you to drive it the way it wants you to. And the only way you can turn it off is to also turn off electronic stability control. Which is usually a good thing to leave on, especially if you tend to drive like I do, and more particularly if you tend to drive the way I do when I’m driving a BMW M2 coupe. So, BWM, if you are going to insist on putting automatic rev matching in your manually shifted cars for people who buy manually shifted cars but don’t know how to manually shift, please let us turn this feature off, and only this feature, so that we can drive the car the way it was intended to be driven.

Don’t get bogged down with the rev matching. In fact, pretend I didn’t say anything. This is one of the most fun cars I’ve driven and is obtainable for most people at a $50,000 price tag. And with a not-too-unreasonable backseat, you can sell it to the family as a family car. It is on my must buy list without a doubt.

dsc_0050 dsc_0048 dsc_0046-1dsc_0005 img_0575

One comment

Leave a Reply