One of our favorite cars changes its name to the 2019 BMW M2 Competition. As opposed to just being called the M2. The motivation behind this move is a boost in power from 365 to 405 horsepower. Maximum torque also receives an increase of 63 lb-ft. As its name, with or without the Competition part, suggests, this is the high-performance variant of the small 2 Series. It comes in coupe form only.
However, there’s something more to this car. As other BMW vehicles have grown larger and heavier, including their M counterparts, the M2 serves as a reminder of what the original (almost legendary) M3 was like — the car that started the whole M approach. It was small, had two doors, was relatively light and honed for handling. The M2 follows that formula while adding a wonderful amount of power (for the size).
Some sporty cars have a civilized side with an adjustable suspension, but the M2 is an out-and-out enthusiast’s machine. The fenders are flared to accommodate wide tires, while bulges on the hood advertise the power beneath.
The 2019 M2 Competition quickens the pulse of anyone who has a combustion engine beating where their heart is supposed to be. Admittedly, it’s a niche product, but what a niche and what a product.
What’s New for 2019?
As mentioned above, a more powerful engine arrives with the Competition addition to the name. A new dual exhaust system is fitted, along with a revised instrument cluster and a carbon fiber front tower strut (for greater front-end rigidity, resulting in more steering precision), while the Dynamic Stability Control and Active M Differential have been recalibrated to give the driver more leeway for tail slides before intervening.
Larger brake discs have also been fitted as standard, along with 6-piston front brake calipers and 4-piston rear brake calipers (replacing the four-and-two arrangement of last year’s M2), Active Driving Assistant (featuring collision warning, pedestrian detection with City Braking, lane-departure warning and speed limit information), parking sensors front and rear, Apple CarPlay smartphone integration, plus new M Sport front seats with illuminated M2 logos. See the 2019 BMW M2 Competition models for sale near you
What We Like
- Reasonable price in the grand scheme of things
What We Don’t
- Passengers might find it noisy, stiff and cramped
- No Android Auto smartphone integration
A turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six engine develops 405 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque. The standard transmission is a 6-speed manual. A 7-speed, dual-clutch automated manual (with steering wheel-mounted shift paddles) is the 2-pedal alternative, known as DCT. Power goes just to the rear wheels.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates fuel consumption as 18 miles per gallon in the city, 25 mpg on the highway and 20 mpg in combined driving (manual transmission), or 17 mpg city/23 mpg hwy/19 mpg combined (DCT).
Standard Features & Options
The 2019 BMW M2 Competition ($59,895) comes solely as a coupe in one well-equipped trim level.
Standard equipment includes 19-in alloy wheels, an Active M rear differential, M-grade brakes, LED headlights, automatic climate control, leather upholstery, heated/14-way power-adjustable front sport seats with driver’s-side memory, keyless entry/ignition, carbon fiber interior trim, ambient cabin lighting, an M Sport multi-function steering wheel, a self-dimming rearview mirror and driver’s-side door mirror, rain-sensing wipers, dynamic cruise control, Active Driving Assistant, front/rear parking sensors, navigation, Bluetooth, USB port, Apple CarPlay smartphone integration, an 8.8-in touchscreen for the iDrive infotainment system, a CD/MP3 player, an AM/FM/HD/satellite radio and a Harman Kardon 360-watt/12-speaker audio setup.
The optional M Driver’s bundle consists of a day’s high-performance driving tuition and raises the top speed from 155 mph to 174 mph. The Executive package brings adaptive LED headlights with automatic high beams, a heated steering wheel, wireless charging and Wi-Fi. A moonroof is also optional.
Trunk space is 13.8 cu ft., which is pretty good — enough for three golf bags.
There’s the mandatory stuff, such as ABS, traction/stability control and several airbags, but one thing to mention is that M cars have excellent brakes — bigger than those in the regular counterpart. They’re strong and confidence-inspiring.
The M2 Competition hasn’t been subjected to crash tests of its own, but the 2 Series range has received the accolade of Top Safety Pick+ from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) after scoring well in every major category.
Behind the Wheel
This is why the M2 Competition exists, to be driven and driven hard. Get on a track and even the oil system is designed to work efficiently under lateral loads. It’s possible to adjust the threshold for when the traction control kicks in, allowing for some tail slides, if that’s your thing. Sure, there’s a bit of tire noise, but drown that out with engine noise and problem solved.
It’s great having a manual transmission (with rev-matching throttle blips on the downshifts) to get really involved, but there’s nothing wrong with the DCT. It’s actually quicker: 4.0 seconds in the sprint from 0-to-60 mph, while the manual is 0.2 of a second slower.
Other Cars to Consider
2019 Audi TT RS — No real rear seats to speak of, only 394 hp and more expensive (about $68,000) than the M2 Competition, but all-wheel drive and lots of tech come as standard. Pretty cute as well.
2019 Audi RS 3 — A compact sedan with AWD and 394 hp. From $57,195.
2019 Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 — A 4-door alternative with 375 hp, AWDe and a slightly lower price. An excellent package, but the M2 Competition has the edge.
The 2019 M2 Competition is really one of those special cars, even among the exalted company of every BMW vehicle wearing an M badge. It’s highly recommended for enthusiasts. Find a BMW M2 Competition for sale