What Are They?
The 2016 BMW M2 is the high-performance version of the 2 Series compact coupe, and here’s why it’s an exciting prospect.
Making its world debut in Detroit, the M2 packs a newly developed 3.0-liter, twin-turbo, 6-cylinder engine (in BMW’s hallmark in-line configuration) with 370 horsepower and 343 lb-ft of torque. This propels a small, rear-drive car that’s also had its suspension, brakes and steering upgraded for maximum driving effect.
For a machine this small and relatively light, and given the tuning talents of BMW’s M division, the M2 is a little rocket. It can launch from standstill to 60 miles per hour in 4.2 seconds or 4.4 seconds using the standard 6-speed manual transmission. The numbers are good, but the experience should be even better.
The same engine graces the X4 M40i, which also makes its world debut at the Detroit Auto Show — although this is not a full-on M version of BMW’s sleek compact crossover. Output has been slightly detuned for 355 hp, but torque remains a healthy 343 lb-ft, and the sprint time to 60 mph is only 0.3 of a second slower than the manual M2. That power is applied to the tarmac through a standard-issue intelligent all-wheel-drive system that’s usually biased to the rear wheels in normal conditions.
According to BMW, the X4 M40i also has a suspension “specifically tuned to M-Performance specifications,” plus many of the cosmetic touches that accompany M cars.
Pricing for the 2016 BMW M2 will start at $52,695; pricing for the 2016 BMW X4 M40i will start at $58,795.
When Can You Get Them?
The M2 arrives in the spring. The X4 M40i is available in February.
Add Them to Your Shopping List Because…
Both vehicles will be fast, athletic and available with up-to-the-minute tech and will feel premium all the way.
Other Cars to Consider
2016 Porsche Cayman — If Internet rumors are anything to go by, the M2 might start at around $55,000, which puts us into this kind of territory. Admittedly, the Cayman is just a 2-seater, but the M2’s rear seats will be small, and the chassis is something an enthusiast would love, regardless of engine power.
2016 Audi SQ5 — The Audi SQ5 is similar to the X4 M40i with 354 hp going to all four wheels. It is priced from $53,300, which might be a useful ballpark for anyone interested in the BMW.
2016 Porsche Macan S — The Porsche Macan S is priced in the low $50,000s and enjoys 340 hp. It is closely related to the SQ5, but sometimes, the badge means a lot.
Used BMW M3 — To drive an M3 is to love it.
Used Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG — The Mercedes-Benz ML63 AMG provides extra space, higher driving position, a lot of power (517 hp) and a ton of equipment.