Given the most recent BMW M car launches have centred around a two-tonne convertible, an even heavier SUV and whatever the X6 counts as, you'll have to excuse a little excitement around the M2 CS. The equivalent M3 and M4 were the best models in their respective ranges, the M2 has been a breath of fresh air in the M car line up and every modification made to this iteration sounds like it'll make it even better.
For the avoidance of doubt, plenty of the leaked information was accurate: the 3.0-litre S55 twin-turbo straight-six is now boosted to 450hp and 406lb ft, bestowing upon the CS a 4.2-second 0-62mph sprint time and a 174mph top speed (because the M Driver's Pack is standard). With the optional seven-speed dual-clutch, two tenths come off the 0-62 time, emissions of 238g/km fall to 219g/km and 27.2mpg economy improves to 29.4mpg. M DCT cars will also receive a dedicated transmission oil cooler, a welcome concession to track use.
To that end, both the standard Adaptive M suspension - a first for an M2 - and the M Sport brakes (400mm front discs, 380mm rear) are "designed with motor racing know-how." As is familiar from every M model more senior than this, the dampers come with Comfort, Sport and Sport + settings; BMW saying the latter "minimises body movement and maximises dynamic performance."
Further tweaks for fast road and track driving come in the form of standard-fit Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres and optional ceramic brakes. The former are as seen on the M4 CS, paired here with 19-inch wheels and 245-section (front) and 265-section (rear) tyres. The wheels themselves are forged, weighing in at 9kg each for the fronts and 10kg per rear. As standard they are Jet Black, though can be optionally finished in matt gold, as seen here. Careful rushing to that option, though, as the ceramic brakes also bring gold paint for their six-piston (front) and four-piston (rear) calipers, and you wouldn't want them to match... Those wary of using Cup 2s in adverse conditions can opt for Pilot Super Sports instead at no extra cost.
Like all M2s, this CS features a BMW Dynamic Stability Control with fully on, MDM and fully off settings, working in conjunction with the Active M Differential; retuned for this installation, BMW says the MDM mode "pushes back" the intervention of the DSC, allowing for "more significant oversteer". Anyone asking questions about a 'ring time will go unanswered for a little while longer, as BMW hasn't yet released any information, but given a Competition was capable of 7:52 with sportauto, you'd have to assume a CS will be nudging towards 7:40.
Additional tweaks for the CS from Comp include a carbon bonnet, roof, front splitter, rear diffuser and mirrors. Misano Blue features on an M2 for the first time (silver, black or white are also available) and the CS also gets a redesigned dual-branch, four-pipe exhaust; BMW says it produces a sound "worthy of a BMW M model".
Inside - we're nearly done, promise - it's very recognisably M2. Some will welcome the familiarity, others will criticise it for looking a little plain in light of cars like the Mercedes-AMG A45. The centre console is now made of carbon reinforced plastic, more than 50 per cent lighter than standard, with the material also used on the doors. Note, too, Alcantara on the wheel, CS-specific red accents and bespoke badging.
Keen? Course you are. It's hard to imagine a new vehicle that better chimes with what PH likes about fast cars than the M2 CS. Alright, perhaps the Cayman GT4, and that's a twin test we're already thinking about. Handily enough, the prices are uncannily comparable: the BMW is £75,320, the Porsche £75,348. Yes, they're really that close. BMW says the M2 CS is limited-run, but hasn't confirmed exact numbers - best get that order in soon! Deliveries are in the spring...