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BMW goes full 'brilliant'; it's the M2 CS. Image by BMW AG.

BMW goes full 'brilliant'; it's the M2 CS
Want a 450hp BMW M2 with a carbon bonnet and roof? Of course you do. So here’s the magic CS.
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What's all this about?

One of those glorious moments where you realise BMW isn't totally lost in the wilderness, after all. For fans of this Bavarian marque (and we count ourselves among that number), it's easy to get dispirited when the styling house of the Vierzylinder building unleashes things like the third-gen X6 or the impending 2 Series Gran Coupe on the world, or when you're driving a 374hp 3 Series that doesn't feel much different to an Audi quattro or Mercedes 4Matic. But then Munich goes and does this. It gives us the M2 CS.

CS?! Oh goody!

Well, quite. Following the original M2's 2018 upgrade to proper S-coded, M-engine spec for the Competition version, the door was open to a harder-cored M2. And here it is, barging said door wide open with an almighty crash. It follows in the tyre treads of the outgoing M3 CS and M4 CS, as it will sit above the Competition in terms of price and prestige; we wouldn't be surprised if its UK ticket was well beyond £60,000 and maybe even £70,000, once it is announced. Of course, the M2 CS will be a limited-build special, so that should make up for its expense.

And what about the technical aspects?

It uses the same S55 3.0-litre biturbo straight-six as an M2 Competition or M3/M4, only here it is uprated from the Comp's 410- to 450hp - torque remains the same, at 550Nm. Drive goes to the rear wheels via either a standard-fit six-speed manual or a seven-speed DCT, and we rather suspect that the person who wrote the BMW release on the M2 CS hasn't worked at the company for long, as the claim is that this is the first manual-gearbox CS offered - an assertion which conveniently forgets the E46 M3 CS that arrived in 2005. Anyway, with the additional 40 horses, two-tenths of a second comes off the CS's 0-62mph times: it'll run four seconds flat as a DCT with launch control, and 4.2 seconds (as quick as an M2 Competition DCT) as a hugely involving manual. The top speed is an electronically limited 174mph, without need to tick an M Driver's Package to get there. Three-mode Adaptive M suspension is standard, as are M Sport brakes with red callipers, a sports exhaust system finished in M-branded quad tips and an Active M Differential with M Dynamic Mode. You can upgrade to M Carbon Ceramic anchors if needs be.

Can you talk me through the looks? What's going on with the bonnet?

It's made of carbon fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP), as is the roof, and the bonnet reduces weight over the nose of the M2 CS by 50 per cent while the centre-of-gravity will be lower on the CS than it will on a Competition. The bonnet also features a vent, which both better cools the six-pot turbo engine and improves the aerodynamics. Speaking of which, there's a jutting chin splitter at the front, a Gurney lip spoiler on the boot and a gorgeous rear diffuser in exposed carbon fibre. Then there are the wheels.

They're gold, right?

They are in these images and, if you're intending to be one of the lucky so-and-sos buying an M2 CS, you ought to spec them in this matte-effect finish if you want to do things properly. The alternative is High-Gloss Black, but that won't go as well with the M2's bespoke Misano Blue paintwork, now will it? Those 19-inch Y-spoke beauties are forged and then wrapped in specially adapted Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tyres. Inside, the beautiful, lightweight M Sport bucket seats from the M4 CS are bolted in, only they're now fitted with illuminated 'M2 CS' badges, and the chairs are clothed in Merino leather and Alcantara with contrast Fire Red stitching. The transmission tunnel and door pulls are draped in carbon fibre (slobber...), the sill plates wear 'M2 CS' emblems and, as an option, there's an M Sport steering wheel trimmed in Alcantara and furnished with a 12 o'clock marker.

What's the reason behind the M2 CS's existence?

What, beyond simply 'because BMW can', which is surely reason enough? Well, it also will homologate the M2 CS Racing, which is BMW M Motorsport's new entry point to amateur track competition and the freshly introduced Clubsport segment - the Racing is due in 2020. And, in case you're wondering, the M2 CS will do 27.7mpg and 233g/km of CO2 as a manual, or 30.1mpg or 214g/km as a DCT.

Not really bothered about the eco-stats, TBH. Is this it for M2 evolution?

Most likely. But our minds can't help wondering what it would be like if an 'L' were to append itself to the CS's boot badge. Or even if we got an M2 GTS... what's that? Greedy? Us?! Not a bit of it.

Matt Robinson - 5 Nov 2019

Earlier articles featuring 2020 BMW 2 Series

2019-10-15: BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe fully revealed
2019-03-20: BMW confirms 2 Series Gran Coupe

2020 BMW M2 CS. Image by BMW AG.2020 BMW M2 CS. Image by BMW AG.2020 BMW M2 CS. Image by BMW AG.2020 BMW M2 CS. Image by BMW AG.2020 BMW M2 CS. Image by BMW AG.

2020 BMW M2 CS. Image by BMW AG.2020 BMW M2 CS. Image by BMW AG.2020 BMW M2 CS. Image by BMW AG.2020 BMW M2 CS. Image by BMW AG.2020 BMW M2 CS. Image by BMW AG.    - BMW road tests
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