The M2 is a two-door thrill ride that reaffirms BMW’s ability to build the ultimate driving machine. Based on the beloved 2-series, this rear-drive coupe has a wide-body appearance and high-performance upgrades. Its turbocharged inline-six teams up with a clairvoyant chassis that rewards time spent on the racetrack, but the M2’s stiff suspension is abusive on regular roads. Those seeking a precision instrument for high-speed shenanigans, however, should skedaddle to the nearest BMW dealership and sign the papers for this amazing M car.

What’s New for 2018?

The M2 receives minor revisions inside and out for 2018. The redesigned head- and taillights switch to standard LED projectors. The cabin updates include a refreshed dashboard, a revised gauge cluster, and small tweaks to the center-console cup holders and window switches. The infotainment system upgrades to the latest iDrive 6.0 interface—now with touchscreen functionality and improved voice recognition. A new Black Shadow Edition is equipped with carbon-fiber exterior accents, special 19-inch wheels, and Black Sapphire metallic paint.

What Was New for 2017?

The first M2 hit showrooms in 2016, offered with few options and with the coupe as the sole body style. BMW’s iconic M performance division made key improvements: outfitting the M2 with a lighter and more vigorous suspension, bolting on bigger brakes and lighter 19-inch wheels with stickier tires, tuning its turbocharged inline-six for increased power, and adding an advanced limited-slip rear differential. For 2017, the optional Executive package added a 4G LTE hotspot and wireless smartphone charging. An M Driver’s package was new, too. This included a one-day performance driving school and a software update that raises the top-speed limiter from 155 mph to 168.

Trims and Options We’d Choose

The M2 starts at $55,495, exactly $2000 more than in 2017. Classmates such as the Audi RS3 ($55,875) and the Mercedes-AMG CLA45 ($51,395) have similar performance but unique driving characteristics—plus all-wheel drive and two extra doors each. The Ford Mustang GT350 ($58,140) and the Chevrolet Camaro SS 1LE ($44,995) are track-ready wild-card alternatives that copy the Bimmer’s rear-drive coupe configuration. Our preferred M2 would include these options:

• Executive package ($1550) with adaptive headlights, wireless charging, 4G LTE hotspot, heated steering wheel, and all available active safety features
• Long Beach Blue metallic paint ($550)
• Apple CarPlay ($300)

We’d skip paying extra for the sunroof ($1050), the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission ($2900), and the M Driver’s package ($2500), which are the only other options available. The final cost is $57,895.

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