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BMW M2 CS details spied | Update!

445hp coupe's manual transmission and carbon roof seemingly confirmed in spy shots

By Sam Sheehan / Thursday, August 1, 2019

Our suspicions that the BMW M2 CS would retain a manual gearbox in standard trim have all but been confirmed by a batch of new spy pictures fresh from the world’s best race track. Images of a CS development car’s interior clearly show a six-speed ‘box with manual gear lever, housed within a cabin sporting carbon trim and a pair of skinny CS seats, pinched directly from the M4 CS.

The exterior wrap applied to the seemingly high-mileage test car has also peeled back enough to expose a carbon roof, which is likely to remove about six kilograms from the car’s total mass and help lower the centre of gravity. A larger rear diffuser and more prominent boot spoiler are visible, and the car is also running with gold calipers, which means it has a carbon ceramic setup. That’s so far not been offered with the M2, so the CS’s anchors should be the lightest and most powerful by some margin.

Under the bonnet will be a further-developed version of BMW’s S55 turbocharged straight-six, with power increased to an anticipated 445hp – which would be 35hp better than the Competition. Coupled with the CS’s lighter kerbweight, the coupe’s performance should be significantly punchier. In fact, as the lighter, keener version of an already excellent machine, it may be the finest driver’s car to have come out of Bavaria in recent years. Good news is the spy shots suggest we’ve not long to wait to find out.

Previous story - 29.04.2019

We’re eagerly anticipating the arrival of the BMW M2 CS; it has every chance of turning an already brilliant list of ingredients into something very delicious. Lighter and sharper, the CS could really shake-up the world of two-bench driver’s cars this side of the most powerful super saloons. As the third CS-badged model to use BMW’s S55 straight-six, it’s expected to produce 445hp out of the box, as well, a not insignificant jump of 40hp over the ‘normal’ Competition variant.

A new YouTube video provides further fuel to those speculative flames, featuring as it does a test car on the perimeter of the Nurburgring projecting an appropriately naughty tone. It’s far fruitier than the silky note of a regular M2 – and not dissimilar to what you’d hear from an M3/M4 CS, with snorts on the upshifts of the DCT auto through the quad-exit exhaust system.

On that subject, rumours that the M2 CS will come as standard with a manual gearbox, with the DCT auto remaining an option, seem to be holding. Such a driver-focussed ordering of the specs list only upping expectation for the rest of the car even more. As the M3/M4 showed, even a slim list of CS enhancements can significantly enhance a car; you could say they unlock its maximum potential, which sounds great considering the M2 Competition is not exactly a bad place to start…

Previous story - 26.02.2019

We love the BMW M2 at PH for all of its old school rear-drive six-cylinder charms, but it’s never quite lived up to our full expectations as an ultimate Bavarian driving machine. As last year’s test against the Cayman GT4 showed, the M2 is just too heavy to provide the alertness we so desire from a compact M division model. It’s brilliant, but we’ve always known there was potential for something even more focussed.

Step forward the M2 CS, which rumourville would have us believe is due with a healthy power advantage over even the next GT4. That’s a claim from a longstanding M division information leaker on Bimmerpost, who’s suggested that the M2 CS, which is due later this year, will produce 445hp. This would be a 40hp boost from the regular Competition’s S55 turbocharged inline six, and more significantly, 25hp better than what’s expected from the atmospheric 4.0-litre motor of Stuttgart’s wing-wielding GT4.

That won’t necessarily be enough to rattle the inevitably lighter Porsche, because even a more extreme M2 CS will probably remain a four-seater and retain a higher number of creature comforts than the more tightly honed GT4. Can we hope that M division pulls the same sort of tricks it did when 110kg was removed from the now iconic and similarly-sized E46 M3 to create the CSL? Well, no, that’s almost certainly asking for too much.

The M2 CS – note the lack of L for lightweight – will more likely make do with the sort of less aggressive diet that was applied to the F80 M3 CS, which shed only 10kg in its transformation. We’re expecting a standard-fit carbon fibre roof, lighter forged wheels and mass-cutting hubs, while optional carbon ceramic brakes should help to remove a few more grams. Plus, there may also be small savings from lighter bucket seats and more Alcantara trim. But that would probably only remove a dozen or so kilos from the Competition’s 1,625kg kerb weight.

Still, an M2 with a power boost, sharper chassis (more on that below) and slight weight saving should make for something rather special. Plus Bimmerpost suggests that it’ll retain the standard fitment of a manual gearbox, with a DCT auto an option. Fantastic. Perhaps 2019 might finally be the year that we meet the ultimate iteration of M2, then? Set your expectations accordingly.

Original story - 10.10.2018

The BMW M2 Competition is arguably the sweet spot in the M line-up thanks to its mixture of savage performance and compact dimensions. It looks like BMW has left room for things to get just even sweeter still, though, with a more aggressive version having been spotted testing. Yes, it's the car we've long expected but not yet had hard evidence to prove was in development, the M2 CS.

Seen here testing at the Nurburgring, a development version of the Club Sport car wears a dovetail spoiler and what look to be larger, likely carbon-ceramic brakes, signalling to its heightened performance. You'll also notice a set of lightweight M Performance wheels, which we'd expect to come as standard on the CS as part of a list of mass shedding components made from carbon fibre.

The headline grabbing stats for the CS will come with a bump in output from its turbocharged straight six engine, which is essentially a de-tuned version of the M3/M4's S55 3.0-litre, which produces 420hp in the 'regular' Competition. Expect something closer to 430hp in the CS, meaning the motor will essentially be running in identical form to the standard M3's and should therefore trim the CS's 0-62mph sprint time to about 4.2 seconds.

Key to the M2 CS's enhanced focus will be a revised chassis setup. M division CS models usually get altered rates for their adaptive dampers to trim body roll, along with tweaked steering to unlock more feel from the front axle and Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 rubber for increased bite. The M division is pretty good at making these bits combine to create a fluid as well as fast package, and the M2 is arguably the best base to begin with. We therefore have very high hopes.

Hopefully they'll hurry up and get this to market quickly, right? Well, there's no official word as to when the M2 CS will hit the roads, and although this sighting at the 'Ring suggests it's at an advanced stage of development, CS editions usually arrive towards the end of a model's production run. We'd hedge that a late 2019 launch seems most likely, leaving the recently released M2 Competition with a few more months to reign as top dog of the 2 Series line-up.

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