I think the heat must be getting to me because I now find the BMW M2 to be far too slow. I still want it to look like an M2, though, but I need something with more power, an aggressive body kit, enormous wheels and adjustable suspension. Who can provide me with such a car? AC Schnitzer, that's who.
Customers with existing BMW, Mini, Jaguar and Land Rover cars can take them to the German aftermarket tuner and pick and choose from the extensive catalogue of upgrades. Those without, meanwhile, can buy them as a whole car, of which this AC Schnitzer ACS2 is one.
What is it then? For a not inconsiderable amount of money over a standard BMW M2, you get a car with 50hp and 59lb ft more than the standard car, taking the total up to 415hp and 428lb ft. A huge amount in a smallish car. There's adjustable coil-over suspension that drops the ride 30-40mm, a front splitter and rear diffuser finished in carbon fibre, and 20-inch forged alloy wheels.
So, does all this stuff make sense? The power parts, not so much. They look good on paper, but you'll need to really be on it to notice the extra grunt because maximum torque is actually a few thousand rpm higher up in the rev range compared with the standard M2. The suspension tweaks, on the other hand, are worthy of recommendation. AC Schnitzer claims it offers performance upgrades that can be used on the road, and the ACS2 remains remarkably composed, despite the enormous wheels and rubber that has all the depth of a Rizla packet.
Trouble is, none of this comes cheap. In fact, this particular car seems to be an ex-demonstrator because it has featured in a review or two in some performance car publications and the options on it are extensive: £3,804 for the engine tuning, £2,536 on the exhaust, £2,478 for the suspension, £2,503 on all the carbon bits of trim and £6,963 for the alloy wheels (don't kerb them!). Mind you, at £52,990 it is considerably cheaper than a new version of the car at £66,959
So, if you must have the 'ultimate' M2, then the AC Schnitzer ACS2 could be just what you're looking for. Perhaps this is why the M division has just announced that they're putting in a detuned version of the N55 engine fitted to the M3 and M4 into the Porsche Cayman GTS rivalling M2 Competition. Either way, they're both much faster than that ridiculously slow M2...
SPECIFICATION - AC SCHNITZER ACS2
Engine: 3,000cc, six-cylinder, turbocharged
Transmission: 6-speed manual, rear-wheel drive
Power (hp): 415
Torque (lb ft): 428
First registered: 2016
Recorded mileage: 6,000
Price new: £66,959
Yours for: £52,990