We have our hands on one of the most hardcore M cars around.
You know, if you spend around $60,000 for a BMW M2 Competition, you’re going to get a fantastically fun car — arguably one of the best M car experiences at the moment. But what if that’s just not enough? What if you need more power, carbon ceramic brakes, more carbon fiber, and — of course — gold wheels? Then there’s the (limited-run) M2 CS, with a price that starts at $83,600 before you add in some options. It’s the most hardcore version of the closest modern analog to the “classic” M car, packing a serious amount of performance into a small package…if you can afford it.
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This car is clearly meant for the diehard enthusiast who wants the very best, but is it worth the extra cash? With the $8,000 carbon ceramic brake option and the $2,900 7-speed dual clutch — a 6-speed manual is still thankfully available — there’s only one way to really test this car’s mettle. In the video below, we put it in the hands of pro racing driver and former Top Gear USA Stig Paul Gerrard, to see where it falls on the TFL leaderboard. The 2020 Chevy Corvette Stingray is currently the quickest production car we’ve had, throwing down a time on the IMI Motorsports track of virtually one minute dead (1:00.04). So how will this car stand up to that?
On paper, there’s quite a bit going in favor of the BMW M2 CS. Thanks to all the carbon fiber, this car does shed some weight: 55 pounds, to be exact. It also manages 444 horsepower out of that 3.0-liter straight-6 engine, up from 405 in the competition. Torque remains the same, however, at 406 lb-ft. One of its biggest sticking points, literally, is its tire setup, however. The Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2s can really make all the difference when it comes to putting the power down. What’s more, setting the drive modes up in their most aggressive settings with the driver aids off, as Paul is of course going to do, could put the M2 CS in serious contention for the fastest car spot.
The final result
Paul set the best possible lap time when the car was on fresh rubber, and he really hammered the M2’s extra power, chassis tweaks and carbon ceramic brakes. The result? A blistering 1:01.88, which is definitely one of the quickest times we’ve had around the track. That Time falls just in front of the BMW M5, and behind the McLaren 570S Spider.
That said, it is still $25,000 more than your standard M2 Competition, which came in a couple seconds slower in our past testing. And even if you could afford one, there’s more bad news. Of the 2,200 global examples (and 500 coming to the U.S.), hardly any are still up for grabs at this point. It’s a shame, because this is really the M car every enthusiast clamors for. It’s more or less the perfect M car, full stop.