BMW M2 Competition 2018 UK review

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What’s it like?

Those revised suspension settings do make for a tighter and more unyielding ride quality at low speed around town, but in every other respect they are a huge step forward. Even on a bumpier road at higher speed there’s enough sophistication in the damping of this car that the wheels can rise and fall individually over the shape of the road without the body being skipped or jolted about. The M2 Competition is so much more settled and composed than the M2 that it feels like an entirely new car rather than an updated one.

Body control over crests and undulations, meanwhile, has gone through the roof. No longer does it feel as thought the car might bounce itself clean off the tarmac. The steering is keener and more intuitive, too, all of which means you drive along a winding road with a level of confidence that the M2 driver could only dream of.

The old M2 strong points are still very much in evidence, notably a sweet natural chassis balance that allows you drive right up to the car’s limit of grip, as well as a transition from neutral balance to power oversteer that’s as smooth as cream pouring from a jug. The M2 Competition is every bit as happy being driven neatly and with precision as it is playing the tyre-smoking hooligan on circuit.

Combined with a high-quality cabin that offers space for four, plus a more than useful boot, that wide operating window makes the M2 Competition one of the most broadly capable performance cars on sale at this price point today. It is far more usable everyday than a 718 Cayman S or an Alpine A110 without being much less enjoyable to drive.

The M2 Competition would be a massive step on from the M2 even if the old engine had been carried over unchanged. The twin-turbo motor is more responsive in the lower reaches and there is good energy towards the top end, but its soundtrack is more monotonous and it doesn’t suddenly make the car feel much more accelerative in a straight line. At least there is still a choice of transmissions, our preference being the six-speed manual rather than the seven-speed DCT. 

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