Testing the 2024 BMW M2—possibly the final M automotive with a handbook transmission

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A pale blue BMW M2 seen parked in the hills
Enlarge / BMW’s M2 is likely to be the final M automotive it builds with three pedals and a stick shift.

Peter Nelson

We’re at an attention-grabbing crossroads within the high-performance fanatic automotive market. Running east to west is the adoption of electrical autos and a gradual discount in inner combustion engine automotive manufacturing. North to south is the development of ICE horsepower from the manufacturing unit over time, and it is unclear how far it continues from right here. Coming in diagonally is the weakening demand for handbook transmissions—that is sadly the place they finish.

In the center of this intersection is the 2024 BMW M2 six-speed handbook, hanging its tail out in an enormous managed drift across the edges, expressing one final hurrah as BMW’s last object of internal-combustion M automotive affection.

I lately had the chance to pilot BMW’s newest, smallest M automotive by a few of Southern California’s most enjoyable mountain roads, plus Willow Springs International Raceway’s Streets of Willow circuit. When it involves shortly determining this type of automotive’s powertrain and chassis, I am unable to consider a greater mixture of pavement. Here’s what makes the newest—and final—six-speed-manual-equipped M2 technology an total wonderful fanatic coupe.

BMW has given the M2 a much more muscular look than the normal 2 series coupe.
Enlarge / BMW has given the M2 a way more muscular look than the conventional 2 collection coupe.

Peter Nelson

Focused inside-out

Looks are subjective, significantly BMW appears to be like, however I believe BMW did a very good job on the M2’s exterior. Its kidney grilles, headlights, fender flares, exhaust ideas, and vast fenders—particularly within the rear quarter panels—are enticing. It’s a muscular little coupe, and it positively informs you of its intentions with its huge intakes minimize into its entrance finish. Behind them lies a warmth exchanger for its engine’s air-to-water intercooling (extra on that in a bit), plus a number of different types of water and oil cooling to make sure long-lasting peak efficiency, all-twisty-road-and-track-session-long. It’s exhausting to mistake it for a base 2 Series.

Inside, it is fairly spacious for a coupe and has nice visibility throughout. My check automotive included the $9,900 Carbon Package, which will get you snug, near-race-bucket carbon fiber seats and a slick carbon roof. I’m 6 ft and three inches tall, so the absence of sliding glass up high was a godsend and even allowed me to put on a helmet on observe while not having to recline, a rarity in trendy automobiles. The seats are a little bit of a ache to slip out and in of, and the left leg bolster pushed inward barely an excessive amount of, impeding environment friendly and comfy clutch motion for my lanky determine. I think many people would not have the identical subject, although.

Technology-wise, a crisp 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a 14.9-inch touchscreen take up a number of actual property. BMW’s iDrive 8 software program is simple to get the dangle of, operates fairly seamlessly, and has good haptic suggestions. Materials high quality is total fairly good; all buttons and dials felt substantial, and the Carbon Package consists of stylish slabs of carbon fiber trim as an alternative of the boring previous piano black plastic that is all too frequent in trendy efficiency automobiles.

Opinions are mixed when it comes to BMW's carbon bucket seats. They hold you in place well but can be hard to get in and out of, and the hump between the driver's legs is polarizing.
Enlarge / Opinions are combined on the subject of BMW’s carbon bucket seats. They maintain you in place effectively however may be exhausting to get out and in of, and the hump between the driving force’s legs is polarizing.

Peter Nelson

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