Thursday, December 9, 2021
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2021 BMW M2 CS (car review)

THE 2021 BMW M2 CS is pretty banging. It could even be the best driver’s car ever made. You see, the M2 has been around since 2015, and since its creation, it’s been hailed a hero car of sorts thanks to its fiery demeanour and perfect 50/50 weight distribution.

And then BMW M turned the bat-shit crazy knob up to 11, Spinal Tap style, with the introduction of the limited run M2 CS. We’d go so far as to call it the most focused car in the German manufacturer’s stable since the E46 M3 CSL.

Coming from someone that owned an E46 M3, the new M2 CS had big shoes to fill, from a personal perspective as well. And while the latter truly has heart racing performance, with a 0-100km/h sprint done it just 4.0 seconds flat, it delivers so much more than just speed.

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On the outside, BMW has honestly done a great job crafting what must be one of the most masculine exterior designs on the market today. There’s carbon everywhere you look from the front lip, to the bonnet, roof, rear diffuser and side mirrors.

Yes, even the roof is carbon. It’s all there to make the M2 CS lighter on its feet, with a stylish checkerboard weave and all. The bonnet packs a pronounced bulge, another nod to the E46, with the introduction of three vents to cool the M2’s new heart.

From the blown out rear guards that give a nod to the E36 and E46, to that aggressive front snout that screams “I dare you race me”, it’s all there. But there’s an elegance and refinement too, that’s quintessentially BMW.

To tie everything together, BMW have wrapped our test version of the CS in a vivid Misano Blue Metallic paint job, which is accompanied by a set of light weight 19-inch M alloys painted in a matte gold finish.

To be honest, there truly isn’t an angle where this car doesn’t look sexy. And then you step inside, where it’s about the pureness of performance rather than an ultra-lux interior. There’s plenty of technology hidden in plain sight too.

It’s minimalistic, and that helps keep the weight down, which in-turn gives you more of the thrills. You still retain Alcantara leather appointed seats with electric adjustment, carbon fibre panels throughout, and a bassy 12-speaker Harman/Kardon sound system though.

Throw in DAB+ digital radio, air-con, carpet mats, BMW’s comfort access and connected drive systems, and professional navigation, and there’s really not much left out. There are proper buttons for the climate control and volume too, which is fantastic to see.

While the seating position isn’t overly low in the M sport seats, the fronts will still grab a hold of your love handles through the twisties, and there’s a heap of adjustment to suit. The rear seats can fit an adult, but realistically, it’s just a well appointed parcel shelf.

Not as bad as some other coupes on the market, but still tight. The perforated red 12 o’clock marker in the Alcantara wheel trim is a nice touch, and so is the CS moniker on the dashboard. It’s subtle, without being garish or in your face.

You could argue that a few more M Performance bits would’ve been nice, like LED change-up lights and a full digital dash, but everything you need is on hand.

Under that bulging carbon bonnet is, well the same wonderful S55 engine from the M2 Competition, but with more power and a broader torque band. The 3.0-litre twin-turbo inline-six makes 331kW and 550Nm. Those are M4 numbers in a car half the size.

It’s also rear-wheel drive, and available in either a 6-speed manual (in very limited numbers), or an optional 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. The DCT can be dialled up or down for shift speed (and it’s quicker to 100km/h).

It’s a truly superb combination in full attack mode too. Top speed is 280km/h thanks to the standard inclusion of the M Driver’s Package, and it will get there, no dramas. The 2021 BMW M2 CS also features customisable M1 and M2 buttons on the steering wheel.

These can be used to map settings for the engine, steering and suspension. For us, that saw M1 programmed in Sport for the engine and Comfort for the suspension and steering with traction control on. Essentially a punchy everyday cruise mode.

M2 became hammer down mode, with everything switched up to 11 plus 1 (that’s 12 for those who can’t count), perfect for quick take offs, and abrupt overtakes.

The CS builds on the M2 Competition’s reputation for front-end grip too, and is very much point and shoot. Agile and yet confidence inspiring, providing of course that you remember that if you take it over the edge, it will chew you up and spit you out.

To make sure that doesn’t happen, Michelin Pilot Sport Cups 2 tyres provide incredible grip on the exclusive (just 84 are available in Australia) performance coupe. The 2021 BMW M2 CS is priced from $139,900 (plus on-roads).

Our tester came in at $150,100 (plus on-roads) with the options it included. It sounds like a lot of money, but the M2 CS is hard to pass up. Gorgeous looks, carbon fibre touches, and that beautifully tuned S55 engine make it one of, if not the best, M cars ever made.

That’s a big call, but when the former boss of BMW M and the man behind the car itself, Markus Flasch, has one, it says a lot.

Our test vehicle were provided by BMW Australia. To find out more about the 2021 BMW M2 CS, contact your local BMW dealer.

REVIEW OVERVIEW

Drive experience
9
Interior look and feel
8.5
Exterior styling
9
Technology and connectivity
9
Family friendliness
7
Value for money
8

SUMMARY

Pros - heaps of power; looks fantastic; perfect driver's car.
Cons - interior needs a little love.
Mick Glenn
Mick is a car fanatic, with petrol pumping through his veins. With a deep love for cars, and what makes them tick, Mick likes things that go fast, very fast. But he also appreciates a Sunday cruise in the Rolls...... who are we kidding, he'd drive the wheels off that too.

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