BMW M2 CS.

Limited edition 450hp apex predator

With masterly German understatement BMW describes the M2 CS as ‘one rung up the performance ladder from the M2 Competition’. Given how exhilarating the latter is, that’s some promise. Lots of carbon fibre, an engine borrowed from the M4 Competition and a sprinkling of track-honed M Division technology mark the M2 CS as something very special.

Design

While based on the M2 Competition, the M2 CS has a unique carbon fibre-reinforced plastic bonnet with a central air vent that’s about half the weight of the standard steel bonnet. It also has a carbon fibre roof, which doesn’t save as much weight but ensures the centre of gravity is usefully lower. Other carbon fibre components include a new front splitter, boot spoiler and a multi-channel rear diffuser. Inside, carbon fibre reinforced plastic takes the place of the standard console, door handles and door trims. Seats are the lightweight M Sport items fitted to the M4 CS, upholstered in a combination of Alcantara and Merino leather with red contrast stitching. Also Alcantara-clad is the chunky M steering wheel. Completing the package are lightweight 19in forged aluminium wheels in a choice of black or matt gold. These come shod with track-biased Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres, though for road and wet weather use you can opt for Michelin Pilot Super Sports instead.

Performance

Rather than rework the 410hp engine from the M2 Competition, BMW’s M Division has fitted the 450PS turbocharged straight six from the M4 Competition under the carbon fibre bonnet of the M2 CS. In the compact M2 CS that gives a 0-62mph time of 4.2 seconds for the six-speed manual version and just 4.0 seconds if you choose the DCT box. Standard M2 CS features include an electronically controlled Active M differential and Adaptive M suspension with three driving modes: Comfort, Sport and Sport+. M Sport brakes, with 400m steel discs and six-piston callipers at the front and 380mm steel discs and four-piston callipers at the rear, help rein in the power – though track day regulars can opt for carbon ceramic discs.

Technology

Like the M2 Competition, the M2 CS comes with BMW Professional Navigation, Real-time traffic information and Apple CarPlay preparation. BMW Icon Adaptive LED headlights and hexagonal day time driving lights are included in the M2 CS specification, as is the Harman Kardon sound system.In-car Music on Demand comes with a free one-year subscription.

Safety

As a car designed for track use the M2 CS doesn’t come overburdened with intrusive systems, but the specially tuned Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) partners the Active M Differential to enhance traction and handling stability. The optional Driving Assistant includes front collision warning with braking function, while speed limit assist works with speed limit info and lane departure warning. Other radar-based safety systems include crossing traffic warning rear, land change warning and rear collision warning.

Verdict: The compact, agile rear-drive M2 Competition can trace its heritage back to the E30 M3 of the late 1980s. Now it has been usurped by the M2 CS, an uncompromising limited-edition model that packs a remarkable 450hp and features a track-honed chassis. It will form the basis for the BMW M2 CS Racing model in 2020, but right now it’s the new king of the track day jungle.

M2 CS 360° View