The “standard” BMW M2 is not a car wanting for more oomph, its acceleration is brutally swift and its power delivery refreshingly raw. Yet BMW was seemingly unsatisfied with the 365 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque produced by the turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six so they replaced it with…a different turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six. But this new mill is borrowed from the M2’s bigger brothers, the M3 and M4, and comes packing an extra turbo and a walloping 405 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque.
The resulting beast — the BMW M2 Competition — is supposedly a bit quicker to 60 mph, with BMW quoting a four-second-flat time for the DCT-equipped car and 4.2 seconds for the six-speed manual (a 0.2-second improvement for both). Naturally, improvements to the chassis were made to accommodate the boost in power, like aluminum-intensive front and rear axles and a carbon fiber strut brace, all ripped from the M3 and M4. Bigger brakes were also added, and the stability control system and power steering were recalibrated. Hopefully, the latter has been made to feel less numb, one of the few sticking points on the otherwise excellent standard M2.
The new Competition is not an added trim to the M2 lineup but rather a full-on replacement for the M2. Which will be interesting. The beauty of the original M2 was not just its hardcore interpretation of the German sports saloon but also its balance. Overpowered cars may seem fun on paper, but in the real world, they can be too much of a handful. In an era of the automotive industry that’s dripping in horsepower, a 40-pony boost may not seem like much, but we must ask: could it prove to be too much for the M2’s relatively tiny chassis? And will it really be worth the almost-certain price bump from the standard M2’s $52,500 MSRP? We’ll only know for sure once we have a chance to get behind the wheel.