When the BMW M2 was initially released, automotive journalists fell in love with it. Even Jeremy Clarkson said it was the best M car in the entire range; despite being the cheapest. Fast forward and we have versions such as the Competition Package and CS which honed upon the M2 platform even further. But for the purist a pre-LCI MANUAL BMW M2 with upgraded exhaust (and some very tasty Carbon Wurks parts on it) is about as good as you can get.
Some of the younger readers may recognise this car as the immensely loud M2 that featured in Hampshire Photo’s Monaco Road Trip series back in 2019; but we’ll let Jonny take it from here and tell you more about his pride and joy.
Hello everyone, my name is Jonny and this is the story of my BMW M2 ownership so far.
After less than a year of owning an Audi S3, I realised it wasn’t for me. I needed something with more excitement in my life. Whilst it was well equipped and fast in a straight line, the horrific understeer and aggressive traction control killed any form of fun.
At this point, I did what most people do and spent far too long on Auto Trader whilst simultaneously watching Chris Harris’s YouTube, which is where I found a video of him slithering the M2 around Anglesey circuit during a comparison video with his 1M. That’s all it took. I was sold and a few weeks later I was the proud owner of a 6 speed manual 2016 BMW M2.
Since then, two and a half years and 30,000 miles have passed and nearly every moment has been a joy – I try to forget about the time when a pickup kindly tried to pull my bumper off in a carpark! During this time I’ve taken the car on a couple of road trips, including one to Wales as well as a 10 day trip around Europe. This trip consisted of 5 cars passing through France, Switzerland and Italy with various stops for museums and amazing driving roads before staying in Monaco for a few days. This trip has certainly formed some of my favourite memories with this car, memories which I won’t be forgetting anytime soon. Driving around Lake Como, tackling the Fairmont Hairpin and parts of the Le Mans 24hr circuit were places I never thought I would venture to but the car never skipped a beat, even managing 30mpg on some of the longer motorway stretches (this changed considerably after a few runs through the tunnels in Monaco…). An added bonus of this trip was travelling with a number of talented YouTubers/photographers who captured every step of our journey, so I’ll always have something to remind me of the trip and the car if I ever sell it.
The previous owner hadn’t made any changes to the car but this changed quite quickly once I took over ownership. Within weeks of collecting the car it was fitted with the BMW M Performance exhaust, which allows the valves to be opened using a bluetooth remote control. I’ve also added an adjustable M4 GTS style carbon splitter, side skirts, diffuser and spoiler as well as a few other carbon grills here and there. I’m really pleased with how these modifications have added to the aggressive looks and road presence of the car and it still surprises me how much attention it receives on the road, even when surrounded by much more expensive pieces of kit.
If there is anyone reading this who has been debating buying an M2, my only advice would be to go and test drive one. Believe me, you won’t be disappointed. As a very unbiased and fair owner, I’d say there aren’t many cars out there for the money that give the same driving experience the M2 can provide, all whilst being a perfectly usable daily driver with heated seats and steering wheel for colder days.
For those of you who would like to see more of the car (and can forgive this shameless plug) I try to post on my Instagram account as often as possible – @ja.automotive or you can normally find it at the monthly Re:Fuel Open Days!
Model: M2 (Manual)
Engine: 3ltr Turbocharged Straight 6
Top Speed: 155mph (limited)
0-62mph Time: 4.5 seconds
Additional Mods: Full carbon body kit (diffuser, spoiler, side skirts, grills, wing mirrors, adjustable splitter), M performance valved exhaust, green strut bars