Friday, May 3, 2019


Let’s cut to the chase, the new M2 Competition, your cheapest way to access the ‘M’ experience, will cost you way over AUD$115,000 – but following the, ‘You Get What You Pay For’ line of thinking – the M2 Competition delivers everything you expect, and more, and quite frankly, if you want the ‘M’ experience you don’t really need to spend anymore.

I’m no expert, but although the M2 Competition boasts twin turbochargers, I think it would drive better with one twin-scroll power booster.

The car does not quite deliver the smooth linear power burst you get from a twin-scroll turbo, but hey, this 3.0L engine produces so much poke it really doesn’t matter.

The biggest surprise after I took delivery in the middle of the city, was the surprisingly comfortable low speed ride quality. It’s stiff, well-damped, but also compliant and once you get out on the open road the fairly conventional setup also produces terrific grip, directional stability and control.

The massive carbon-fibre U-shaped brace between the strut towers is obviously responsible for the outstanding rigidity of this coupe.

This may not be a ‘Drifter’s Dream’, but I have to say that through a series of linked twisty bends on my secret outback test route, the M2 Competition can be beautifully-controlled with the throttle.

The rear end doesn’t step out suddenly, to surprise you, it’s much more subtle and gives you a wonderful, enervating slide which can be snapped back, when the next corner appears.

My biggest whinge about the BMW sales process is that ‘everything’ you want, is ‘extra’. “Would you like wheels and glass windows with this car, Sir? That will cost you extra!”

The other annoying aspect of buying any BMW is the way the optional packages are constructed. You may want the Harmon Kardon stereo, but you can’t get the sunroof with that package. So in the end, you end up having to order three packages, to get everything you want, plus stuff you don’t want.

It may be a clever way to boost profit margins, but I hear a lot of complaints from BMW buyers. They all agree the cars deliver on their performance promise, but, why does the company make bad friends in the showroom as you sign on the dotted line?

The other issue I have with BMW is that since Chris Bangle retired as Chief Designer, BMW shapes have changed little and they certainly need some new inspiration for the dash design.

There’s no other way to say it – BMW interior design is dated, it’s cluttered and confusing. If you want to see how it should be done, just check out the latest Mercedes-Benz C-class.

I was never a fan of Chris Bangle’s ‘flame surfacing’ styling, but it seems that since he left Munich, BMW design has not moved forward an inch – or even a millimeter.

I recently opined that following BMW AG’s decision to join with Daimler AG on development of future electric and autonomous vehicles, I could eventually see Daimler absorb BMW – simply because Daimler is a much more mature corporate organization, and looking at the latest C and E Series cars, it is a corporation which knows where and how to spend its development dollars.

Personally, as good as BMW’s latest cars are to drive, I think the company has slipped backwards in terms of design, and its view of the future of producing ‘The Ultimate Driving Machine’. I think its German competitors produce equally appealing cars, and quite frankly, I think Audi and Mercedes-Benz SUVs are better also.

Is the M2 Competition a Supercar? Yes, it's great fun to drive fast.

Recent statements by the current management about ‘meeting the market’ for cars which will ‘drive themselves’ reveal how confused they are about the company’s mission statement, and how it delivers on its core promises.

I loved the M2 Competition, it was the best ‘bucket of bolts’ I’ve sampled from BMW recently, but is it worth $115K-plus? The M2 Pure Competition starts at AUD$122,000!

No, there’s better ideas out there – including – the Kia Stinger.

That’s the thing about Competition – it doesn’t stand still. You may have a blast in the M2, but BMW needs to look in the rear view mirror.


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