Jump in, the exhilarating BMW M2

In BMW, Car Reviews by Tim Barnes-Clay

“Jump in the cockpit and start up the engines. Remove all the wheel blocks, there’s no time to waste..

..Gathering speed as we head down the runway. Gotta get airborne before it’s too late.” Forgive me, these are the lyrics from ‘Aces High’ – an Iron Maiden composition that just seems to encapsulate the expectancy and exhilaration the BMW M2 whisks up within you.


First drive review by Tim Barnes-Clay from Malaga, Spain.

The car makes you feel just how you envisage you will feel. Its appearance delivers all that you hope. The bestial, yet beautiful lines and its brawny stance make you drool before you even step inside the cabin. But it should come as no bombshell that this is a machine that will provide what your dreams demand.

The compact sports coupe is, after all, the next in a long line of the iconic BMW road and racing machines, such as the 2002 Turbo, E30 M3, and 1M Coupe. The difference, of course, is that 2016 brings with it the tech to deliver brand new road and track delights. Enjoyment kicks in the moment you press the ignition button.

Powered by a 3.0-litre straight six power unit, with TwinPower turbo tech, the M2 produces 370hp. Mated to a seven-speed M DCT gearbox, as our test car was, this translates into a zero to 62mph time of 4.3 seconds. It’s a zero to hero feeling getting to the electronically limited top speed of 155mph – all accompanied, especially if you hit the ‘Sport’ button, by roaring tailpipe timbres. Honestly, we heard our colleagues’ cars minutes before we saw them hooning past our photo shoot location in the mountainous region near Malaga.

[cs_the_grid name=”BMW M2″]

On the winding ribbons of open Spanish roads, we threaded our way at speed with adhesive-like traction and total confidence. Even a rainstorm didn’t rain on our parade, with the car penetrating puddles and road spray like a dart shot from a blowpipe.

The German-made coupe feels composed yet agile at all times, because BMW’s M engineers have decreased weight, stiffened up the suspension and perfected the M2’s reactions wherever feasible. All this shines through to make the drive unreservedly rewarding.

Inside, the cabin builds on the driving kicks with leather sports seats and adaptable side bolsters keeping you firmly in place on tight curves. Blue stitching snakes its way along the cowhide, with the backrests proudly exhibiting the M logo. Within the dashboard binnacle, there are distinctive M2 dials, winding all the way to 186mph, and a rev counter displaying up to 8000rpm.

Behind the thickset, M adorned leather sports steering wheel there are shift paddles to help you make progress flawlessly. Pleasure can be had with these, too – especially on the downshifts which build on the already mentioned melodious tailpipes. The roar turns into the sound a bowl of Rice Krispies might make if you were an insect. Hugely magnified snaps and pops blast from the car. The best time to hear these are in an underpass – and we found two long tunnels to experiment with the M2’s orchestra-esque music. Boys and their big toys, eh?

The 2016 BMW M2 is on sale in the UK now.

2016 BMW M2 Coupe
On the road from £44,070

PROS AND CONS: Looks √ Power √ Thrills √ Sound √ Cost to buy and run X

FAST FACTS: Max speed: 155 mph, 0-62 mph: 4.3 secs, Combined mpg: 33.2
2979cc 6-cylinder 24v petrol, 4WD, Maximum power 370hp, Maximum torque TBC, CO2 199 g/km

The 2016 BMW M2 Coupe reviewed by

Tim Barnes-Clay


Tim Barnes-Clay qualified as a journalist in 1994 and is a member of the Midland Group of Motoring Writers. He initially trained in broadcast journalism and has worked as a reporter and news reader at various radio stations in East Anglia and the Midlands. He has also been a motoring journalist for the Mirror Group’s L!ve TV cable network and a presenter, reporter and producer at ITV Central in Birmingham. Tim is now an automotive writer, focusing on car reviews. He has media accreditation with all motor manufacturers’ press offices, and this enables him to test drive the latest cars. He also attends new vehicle press launches at home and abroad.

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