BMW M2 goes out with a bang with hardcore CS variant



Run-out special gets extra power, sticky tyres and carbon panels; “limited units” coming to Singapore

Munich, Germany

When we drove the BMW M2 Competition earlier this year, there was one thought that never crossed our minds: “this car needs more excitement”. In an effort to show that you can never have too much of a good thing though, that’s exactly what BMW has done.

Say hello to the BMW M2 CS. If the original M2 was a decaf version of your favourite cuppa and the M2 Competition the original, unadulterated version, then the M2 CS is that same cup of coffee with an extra-large shot of whisky mixed in.

The best news is that this is something you’ll actually be able to buy here. BMW says that “a few units” of the M2 CS will be sold in Singapore despite its limited-edition status worldwide, and is expected to cost between S$400k-420k.

Like 2018’s limited edition M3 CS (unknown if any are registered here) and M4 CS (a few on the roads), the M2 CS features mods that make it faster, sharper and a little bit blingier.

The most significant change is found under the bonnet. Where the M2 Comp used a detuned version of the M3/M4’s “S55” 3.0-litre straight-six, the CS borrows its heart from the M3/M4 CS. That means power jumps up from 410 to 450hp, while torque remains the same, at 550Nm.

That allows the M2 CS to do the 0-100km/h sprint in 4.2 seconds when equipped with a six-speed manual, or 4.0 seconds with the 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. For reference, that’s 0.2 seconds quicker than the M-DCT-equipped M2 Comp.

Handling-wise, the revisions are less extensive. The headline feature is the fitment of Adaptive M suspension – previously unavailable on the M2 – which allows drivers to cycle through Comfort, Sport, and Sport+ suspension modes. The brakes meanwhile are the 400mm/six-pot front and 380mm/four-pot rear M Sport items that were optional on the M2 Comp, although carbon ceramic brakes are also available for those intending on serious track work. 

Finally, sticky Michelin Pilot Sport Cup2 tyres are standard fitment, although buyers can opt for more weather-friendly Pilot Super Sports at no cost. Either way, the 245/35-profile front and 265/35-profile rear tyres are wrapped around forged 19-inch rims, which are available in gloss black or eye-catching matte gold.

Wheels aside, the M2 CS can also be differentiated thanks to various carbonfibre add-ons. The bonnet, for example, is half the weight of the regular car’s, and has a gaping vent in the middle to aid downforce and engine cooling.

Then there’s the roof, a first on the M2. It’s finished in bare carbon, saving weight thanks not only to the material itself, but also thanks to its superior rigidity allowing it to dispense with the usual internal bracing.

A carbonfibre front splitter, boot spoiler and rear diffuser round out the visual changes.

Finally, we come to the interior, which features more carbonfibre – notably the centre console (made entirely of the black weave) as well as on the doors. There’s also swathes of Alcantara, including on the steering wheel and dashboard, the sports seats have been cribbed from the M4 CS, and a red CS logo has been etched into the dashboard panel.

Looking beyond the M2 CS, we’re happy to say that we’ve been proven wrong when we speculated in our M2 Comp review that the current-gen M2 might be the last example of the classic compact, rear-wheel drive, straight-six BMW archetype. 2 Series product manager Gernot Stuhl has been interviewed as saying that the next 2 Series Coupe will still be built on a RWD platform, even though the recently-announced 2 Series Gran Coupe (which, like the Mercedes CLA is essentially a 4-door saloon in all but name) confusingly shares its underpinnings with the new FWD 1 Series.

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Jon Lim
CarBuyer's latest addition is its fourth historical Jonathan. Old-fashioned in all but body, he thinks car design peaked in the '90s. He also strongly believes any car can be a race car if you have a sufficient lack of self-preservation, which explains why he nearly flipped a Chinese van while racing it.