I’ve always been a fan of smaller BMWs. I’ve personally owned a BMW 135i Coupe with an M Sport Package and was also a huge fan of the BMW 1-Series M Coupe. Unfortunately, the BMW 1-Series M Coupe was a limited edition model but the M2 eventually filled that gap. Well, BMW now has the M2 Competition and I recently had the chance to spend a week with it.
Usually, when BMW does a Competition anything, the brand’s engineers make some tweaks to the regular M car and makes it more athletic. Well, BMW did more than just make some tweaks here. The BMW M2 Competition actually replaces the turbocharged N55 inline-six engine in the regular M2 with the S55 twin-turbo inline-six from the M4. However, in order to keep the M4 ahead of the BMW M2 Competition, power was reduced to 405 horsepower with a maximum torque of 406 lb-ft. The result is still the best BMW M sports car I’ve ever driven in recent years.
So is it better than the regular M2 and is it better than its rivals? Let’s find out.
2019 BMW M2 Competition Exterior
When compared to the regular M2, the BMW M2 Competition just looks better and beefier. To enhance performance and cooling, BMW added bigger kidney grille openings and a new front skirt with increased air flow. The grille is finished in high-gloss Shadow Line black paint along with the side gills on the front fenders. You’ll also find black chrome tailpipes on the twin exhaust system. Other than that, the only way to tell that this is an M2 Competition is the black M Competition Badge on the rear, the 19-inch M Forged wheels and the bigger high-performance M Sport brakes.
When it comes to colors, the only color that comes standard is Alpine White. The Black Sapphire Metallic, Long Beach Blue Metallic, Hockenheim Silver Metallic, and the Sunset Orange Metallic (seen here) will run you an additional $550. Black 19-inch M Forged are also available. Oh, and a moonroof is not standard on the BMW M2 Competition and will run you an additional $1,050.
Size wise, the BMW M2 Competition sits on a wheelbase that measures 106-inches with an overall length of 176.2-inches. The width stretches 73-inches and the height stands at 55.5-inches. Curb weight with the automatic seven-speed dual-clutch transmission comes in at 3,655 lbs.
2019 BMW M2 Competition Interior
Interior wise, the BMW M2 Competition comes standard with a bunch of convenience and tech features. Along with the 14-way power front heated M Sports Seats, you get black Dakota leather upholstery, carbon fiber trim, cool M-colored seat belts, and a bunch of M logos all over the place. Tech wise, you get BMW’s iDrive system housed in an 8.8-inch display, an awesome 12-speaker Harman Kardon sound system, navigation, Bluetooth, USB connectivity, and of course, my personal favorite, Apple CarPlay. The only package you can add on is the $1,200 Executive Package which adds wireless charging, WiFi, heated steering, adaptive LED headlamps, and automatic high beams.
Space wise, the BMW M2 Competition gets a total of 41.5-inches of legroom in the front and 33 inches in the back. Of course, in the real world, that means that rear passengers won’t be very comfortable. Cargo capacity comes in at 13.8 cubic-feet.
While the 2019 BMW M2 Competition isn’t notably rough as a daily driver — as long as you’re in Comfort mode – it can still be a bit uncomfortable during a long drive. That’s a given since the BMW M2 Competition is a real sports car with little give in the suspension, and since it comes with M sport seats that are meant to hold you in place when you’re going wild on the track.
2019 BMW M2 Competition Safety
Standard safety features on the 2019 BMW M2 Competition include the brand’s Active Driving Assistant which includes Daytime Pedestrian Protection, Frontal Collision Warning with City Collision Mitigation, Lane Departure Warning, and Driver Alert.
2019 BMW M2 Competition Performance
Now, I personally wouldn’t consider the BMW M2 Competition as a direct rival to the Audi RS3 or the Mercedes-AMG CLA45 since those two have four-doors and the BMW M2 Competition has two-doors. Furthermore, the M2 Competition is more hardcore than those two but my job is to give you all the available options. That being said, the BMW M2 Competition is better suited in a battle with the Porsche 718 Cayman.
So is the BMW M2 Competition better than a standard M2 and is it worth the extra price? Well, yes. As I already mentioned, the M2 Competition ditches the M2’s turbo N55 inline-6 for the M3/M4’s S55 twin-turbo inline-six. The marvelous engine revs to a redline of 7,600 rpm which makes it feel like this thing just wants to keep going. While that allows for an impressive zero-to-60 time of four seconds, its when you hit bends and turns where the true character of the BMW M2 Competition really shines.
Handling wise, the BMW M2 Competition is magnificent. Now, I’m not going to bore you with the technical details but the handling is significantly enhanced over the standard M2 by a few things. First, BMW focused on increasing the front-end rigidity with a carbon fiber one-piece brace in the engine compartment. Second, a combination of a fully recalibrated Dynamic Stability Control, an Active M Differential, and dialed back M Dynamic Mode help the BMW M2 Competition become a more sophisticated performance car that leans back on the rear suspension and stays extremely planted. All that, coupled with the shorter wheelbase, makes the BMW M2 Competition (in my opinion) the most precise in BMW M’s lineup. It will drift, it will skid, and it will leave you smiling.
Of course, since this is an M, there are numerous tweaks you can make to the steering, suspension, and the speed of the gear changes – all of which are tied to the Drivelogic modes – Comfort, Sport, and Sport+. And yes, there are M1 and M2 buttons on the steering wheel that allow you to quickly switch between pre-programmed modes.
Fuel economy wise, the 2019 BMW M2 Competition averages 17/23 mpg* (city/highway).
2019 BMW M2 Competition Overall
After spending a week with the 2019 BMW M2 Competition, if I had $59,000, I would easily spend it on the M2 Competition over any of its rivals. When you line it up against the Audi RS3 and the Mercedes-AMG CLA45, the BMW M2 Competition easily shows its skills as the better and more capable sports car. I had more fun with the handling capabilities of the M2 Competition than its impressive straight-line acceleration ability. Prices for the 2019 BMW M2 Competition start at $58,900**. Visit your local AutoNation BMW dealership for a test drive today.
*MSRP excludes tax, license, registration, destination charge and options. Dealer prices may vary.
**Based on EPA mileage ratings. Your mileage will vary depending specific vehicle trim, how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions, and other factors.