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BMW M2 Update; Has the Ugly Duckling Become a Swan?

New 2024 BMW M2

BMW’s model update offensive continues with the 2024 M2 Coupé. 473 bhp, quicker acceleration and suspension updates mean the divisive model may finally be coming of age, according to Craig Toone.

BMW M cars seem to be regenerating at a rate that would make Dr. Who blush these days, with the recent updates to the M3 Competition and M4 earlier this year. Now it's time for the M2 to go through the LCI mixer, benefitting from a minor hike in power to 473 bhp (up from 454), new alloys wheels, a significantly expanded colour options list, and perhaps most importantly to us, the M Division is promising an “improved suspension technology” and greater throttle response. The changes come as part of an entire 2-series range update.

Whilst it doesn’t feel like five minutes have passed since the G87 was introduced, the changes are nevertheless welcome. BMW says there are new exterior design elements but even with my M-anorak status I cannot spot the difference. Whatever the changes are, they’ve worked. We’ve been outspoken critics of the M2’s design language, however it's amazing what a set of silver alloys and a new hue can do for one’s perspective. Is this the M2’s teen movie moment where the geek takes off their glasses, lets down their hair and then everyone realises they’re actually rather hot? Perhaps I’m getting ahead of myself and I need to go look at some pictures of a 1M or previous-gen M2, but suddenly I’m finding the G87 no longer burns my retinas.

New 2024 BMW M2
New 2024 BMW M2

The new colour roster includes three solid, five metallic shades and six BMW Individual paint finishes. Sao Paulo Yellow, Fire Red, Portimao Blue and Skyscraper Grey. The Individual options offer a more striking palette, including Java Green, Voodoo Blue, Grigio Telesto and Twilight Purple. Overall, there are fourteen paint finishes to choose from where previously there were only four; Brooklyn Grey, Toronto Red, Black Sapphire and Zandvoort Blue - which are expected to continue. Speaking of Zandvoort Blue, this will now be available on the junior M240i Xdrive, which has also been revised. But more of that in a moment.

The silver alloys in a staggered 19-inch front and 20-inch rear format are an optional extra, with the original jet black variants remaining standard fit. Another option is to specify your alloy wheels wrapped in track-focussed rubber - providing you’ve also specified the M Race Track package for an additional £9,500.

Inside, there’s a new ‘Dark Graphite’ finish to the trim, the door cards now feature M tricolour flashes and the new flat bottomed M steering wheel joins the party. Like the M3 and M4, an alcantara finish to the wheel is available on the options list. The notoriously difficult to get into but supremely comfortable once in M Carbon bucket seats from the M3/M4 are now also listed as an individual option, trimmed in Merino leather. BMW’s Operating System 8.5 has also been introduced, including an ‘Augmented View’ in the head-up display.

New 2024 BMW M2
New 2024 BMW M2

BMW is remaining tight-lipped about what the “improved suspension technology” refers to, but given the press releases for the big brother M’s contained no such information, this is intriguing. It could be as simple as a recalibration of the DSC system to adapt to the additional power, or the changes could be more far-reaching to include revisions to the adaptive dampers and steering geometry. Time will tell. 

Something else which is telling is the difference in torque outputs depending upon the transmission specified. Paying an additional £1,235 manual will see torque pegged to the 406 lb ft (550 Nm) of the outgoing model. However, with the standard eight-speed M Steptronic transmission with Drivelogic, the figure rises to 443 lb ft (600 Nm). Both cars develop maximum twist between 2,650 and 6,130 rpm, and both benefit from the additional 20 bhp hike, now developed at 6,250 rpm. The redline of the twin-turbocharged S58 straight six remains at 7,200 rpm.

The increased output is enough to shave 0.1 seconds off the 0-62 mph sprint off both the manual and automatic variants (4.0s auto, 4.2s manual). More telling is the improvement in the 0 to 124 mph times, cut by 0.6 seconds with the M Steptronic posting a 12.9 second run, with the manual clocking 13.7 seconds.

As before, the top speed of the M2 is limited to 155 mph, however this can be upped to 177 mph via the optional M Driver’s Package. An M-specific exhaust system with electrically controlled flaps is fitted as standard.

2024 BMW M240i Xdrive
2024 BMW M240i Xdrive

When it comes to the rest of the 2-series coupe range, the excellent M240i Xdrive remains endowed with 374 bhp courtesy of its B58 turbocharged straight six, which transfers power to the road via an eight speed paddle shift auto and adaptable four-wheel-drive. The junior M2 will remain the only six cylinder 2-series coupe and is capable of 0 to 62 mph in 4.3 seconds.

The petrol engine 220i and 230i make up the rest of the range, powered by the B48 turbocharged four pot. The rear-wheel-drive duo offer 184 bhp in 220i guise and 245 bhp in the 230i, also equipped with the 8-sp automatic transmission. Fitted exclusively with the M-Sport suspension package for the UK marketplace, the updated infotainment and new ‘M PerformTex’ upholstery plus an expanded list of paint options will also be available on the regular 2-er coupe. 

In a slightly confusing move, the 2-series coupe will hold onto the i badging suffix which has recently been dumped by its 1-series brethren. We remain hopeful this is because BMW is secretly working on re-introducing the fabled iS badge - a 230iS with a manual gearbox, a limited slip differential and UHP tyres could make for a compelling driver’s car.

BMW has been rather busy of late, with the debut of several important cars including the aforementioned M3 and M4, Skytop Concept, new M135 and ALPINA B3 & B4 GT. Priced from £63,360 RRP, the revised M2 is available to order now with customer deliveries starting in autumn 2024. The configurator is already live, and you can play around with it here. With my preference for Fire Red, the M Steptronic (purists shoot me down in flames) and the M drivers package, a new BMW M2 would set me back £76,185.

2024 LCI BMW M2 Coupe update


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