“Why didn’t you acquaint me the M2 CS is the best BMW anytime made?” chief appearance editor Jonny Lieberman asked the moment I best up the phone. I’d test-driven the 2020 BMW M2 CS two weeks afore he had, and in actuality I did acquaint him it was spectacular.
“I anticipate this is the best sports car BMW’s anytime made,” he continued. “I mean, I’ve apprenticed about every M5, I anticipate every M3, the M6 and M8s, and I anticipate this one’s better. Remember that water-injected M4 GTS a few years ago? Bigger than that!”
I haven’t apprenticed every distinct bearing of M3 and M5, so I can’t attending you in the eye and acquaint you absolutely the 2020 BMW M2 CS is the best M car ever. But I can acquaint you beeline to your face it’s the best M car fabricated in the 12 years I’ve spent reviewing cars, and that time anatomy covers a lot of acceptable M cars.
No bulk what, it’s accessible to acknowledge the 2020 BMW M2 CS the best M2 ever. We’ve accomplished a bit of a roller coaster ride from the good-but-not-great M235i to the abundant M2 to the great-in-very-specific-conditions M2 Competition. This time, though, there are no caveats, no exceptions. The M2 CS is fantastic, period.
In fact, the affliction affair you can say about the M2 CS is that BMW isn’t architecture abundant of them. Available for one archetypal year only, the 2020 M2 CS hit U.S. dealers backward aftermost year and is acceptable able-bodied on its way to actuality awash out already. If you absence your chance, all that’s larboard is the acclimated bazaar and the absolutely less-good 2021 M2 Competition (which does not get any of the CS’s upgrades), which charcoal on-sale for addition year until this bearing of 2 Series Auto retires.
You’re apparently cerebration the agent gets the credit, but the abeyance is the absolute antecedent of the 2020 BMW M2 CS’ magic. Assuredly adapted with the Adaptive M abeyance (and as standard, at that), the M2 CS is blood-tingling to drive everywhere, not aloof on a racetrack or a afresh paved road.
How abundant you admired the M2 Competition depended absolutely on area you collection it, because asperous anchorage fabricated the durably sprung car skittery and unsettled. It was ablaze on bland pavement and abnormally on a racetrack. With bags of anchor and anticipated handling, it’s the affectionate of car that responds bigger the harder you whip it. Unless the corners got too tight, which meant you’d airing a tightrope amid terminal midcorner understeer and agrarian corner-exit ability oversteer. To accept what active the 2020 BMW M2 CS is like, aloof balloon aggregate abrogating about the M2 Competition.
The 2020 BMW M2 CS is absolute everywhere: bound corners, continued sweepers, bland pavement, and asperous roads. The adaptive dampers, forth with lighter 19-inch auto and stickier Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, fix every botheration we anytime had with the M2 and M2 Competition (which acclimated same-size-but-heavier 19-inch auto with thin-sidewall Pilot Super Sport tires). All the agitation is gone, replaced with absolute aplomb in the car. There’s consistently grip, and about consistently added than the car is able of overwhelming.
Pro Racer’s Take: 2020 BMW M2 Competition
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Our closed-course instrumented testing appear balmy understeer in a corner’s aboriginal and average phases, but it’s the acceptable affectionate of understeer that settles the car at the limit. You can bang out the appendage with ability oversteer at bend exit, but you absolutely accept to try. Set it up aloof right, and you can do a admirable alluvion off the turn, but the M2 CS absolutely would adopt to anchor and go. The computer-controlled cogwheel is altogether acquainted to advance the alfresco of the car off a corner, to actualize a little bit of circling rather than bearing a crazy alluvion machine.
On California’s Highway 33, one of the world’s best active roads, these on-the-limit behaviors construe to aloof the appropriate bulk of atrocity at the bend of grip. Whipping the M2 CS through bound coulee corners with the computer nannies off or in M Dynamic mode, you basically never feel the understeer. And instead of ability oversteer, you get aloof abundant blooper to point the car out of corners. It feels as admitting you couldn’t possibly force the 2020 BMW M2 CS to let go at either end on a accessible road. You absolutely could, of course, but you’d accept to try advisedly to dump the car; drive properly, and the M2 CS is your absolute partner.
Don’t aloof booty it from the aged veterans, either. We tossed the keys to our decidedly quick adolescent gun, accessory online editor Nick Yekikian, for a day, and he came aback with the aforementioned report.
“What stood out to me, added than annihilation else,” he said, “was the adjacency of the M2 CS. There is no dash in any of the controls—no adjournment amid what your hands/feet do and what the car does next. The accomplished affair is taut, sharp, and assertive after actuality compromised for any of its aggression. It’s added of an addendum of you as a disciplinarian than a apparatus beneath your control; the CS is a ‘right here, appropriate now’ blazon of car.”
The anchor pedal additionally enhances disciplinarian confidence. Part of what fabricated the BMW M2 Competition so abashing was the way the pedal went absolutely board aback you hit it hard. While the 2020 BMW M2 CS, active the alternative carbon-ceramic brakes, still gives a hardly board activity aback you’re abysmal into the pedal, BMW rectified the botheration to the point it’s now a accessory complaint at worst.
Before you charge the brakes, though, you get to begin the engine. With an added 39 appliance to comedy with against the M2 Competition, the M2 CS feels abundant added acquisitive to kiss the redline. BMW did a arresting job of affability this turbocharged motor to bear ability linearly, like the best artlessly aspirated engines of canicule of old. Hitting the burke aloft 4,000 rpm gets austere real, absolute quick, and it doesn’t let up. This agent doesn’t aloof accolade ambagious it out, either, but still packs a bite on the basal end and midrange.
It’s actual acceptable this will be the aftermost BMW to action a dual-clutch transmission, and man, what a send-off. M engineers accept kept at it, bombastic and iterating, and they accept this gearbox dialed. Porsche’s PDK has continued been the criterion for automatic-transmission programming in sports cars, and the M DCT in the 2020 BMW M2 CS has assuredly bent it. The paddles assignment great, but there’s no charge for them, aloof a appetite in some circles. It never gets a about-face wrong; I aloof ambition there was a bigger account for why it engages like a bulky old single-clutch SMT gearbox at low acceleration added than “because some BMW buyers anticipate it feels sportier that way.”
Still, we’ll absence it. Every new M car these canicule is accepting a acceptable torque advocate automated because those things we acclimated to alarm “slush boxes” accept gotten so acceptable and so quick there’s no best a accomplishment advantage in the dual-clutch, and accordingly no business case for continuing to advance such a low-volume, bound appliance gearbox.
That anachronism aside, the M2 CS’ cardinal appearance affection is its seriousness. Aback you advance it, there isn’t the playful, amenable personality of, say, a Porsche 718 Cayman. In fact, active some of the aforementioned anchorage we acclimated for our 2020 Best Driver’s Car program, I couldn’t advice but anticipate of the Cayman GT4.
The two cars allotment a actual bent demeanor, agreement a college antecedence on adaptable accomplishment than cool and giggles. They’re advised to abbreviate lap times, but with an aware acquaintance that real-world anchorage are not racetracks and artery cars accept to accomplish on both. The admirable affair is, aback you apprehend what they’re accomplishing and what they’re able of, you can drive them in a way that gives you those cool and giggles, and they’re all the bigger for it.
Putting the two aback to aback would be a hell of a comparison, too (wink, wink). Compare analysis results, and the cars are basically identical, admitting we agenda the alone 718 Cayman GT4 we’ve activated was a manual; we haven’t yet gotten our easily on the PDK version. The dual-clutch automated 2020 BMW M2 CS hits 60 mph in 4.0 abnormal and runs a 12.2-second division mile at 119.7 mph, 0.1 additional advanced of the Porsche in both metrics and traveling 2 mph faster. The BMW stops from 60 mph in a near-supercar 101 feet, 5 anxiety beneath than the GT4. The Porsche nips the BMW in handling, affairs hardly added crabbed g than the 1.02 the M2 CS manages on the skidpad, and a hardly quicker figure-eight lap than the BMW’s 23.7 abnormal at 0.84 g. We book that up to, best likely, the aberration in barrier weight: The M2 CS may be 96 pounds lighter than the aftermost M2 Competition we tested, but it’s still 390 pounds added than the 718 Cayman GT4 we weighed.
How would the nuances of their agnate personalities agitate out? We’ll acquisition out anon enough, but in the meantime, yes, the 2020 BMW M2 CS is the best sports car Bavaria has congenital in added than a decade—and maybe ever. It’s the best accessible adieu to both this bearing of 2 Series Auto and the M dual-clutch transmission. And hot damn, does it attending acceptable in Misano Blue Metallic over Gold wheels. The M2 CS represents the M2 activity out on its own terms, and those are some abuse abundant terms, indeed.
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