New BMW M2 CS prototype review

We get an early taste of the new 44bhp BMW M2 CS super saloon to see if it’s worth the £75k price tagVerdictThe new M2 CS is BMW M at its very best, and a return to the division creating purist models following on from the identity crisis stricken M8 and a string of hot SUVs. As a warm-up act for the next M3 it’s a strong one. More of this in the future, please, BMW.

The new BMW M2 CS is the angriest 2 Series since the introduction of the brand’s compact coupe back in 2014. Perhaps it’s a performance swansong for the model, too, given another rear-wheel drive replacement is expected early next decade.

The door handles, panels and the centre console catch the eye if you like carbon fibre, but otherwise this is an exercise in understatement: Sure, the four thick tailpipes suggest a certain sportiness, but overall, the M2 CS is visually quite discreet.

• BMW M2 Competition review

It remains pleasantly compact in length, while at 1,532kg it’s a lightweight thing, too – something immediately apparent when you begin to play with it.

It feels light on its feet, and you can thank the extensive use of carbon for that. The engine, sitting up front, tugs the small silhouette of the M2 CS forward with outrageous urgency, and it revs out boisterously to over 7,000rpm.

With 444bhp under the bonnet – an increase of 40bhp over the M2 Competition – the small coupe matches the full-fat M4 for pure potency. It’ll chalk up 0-62mph in just 4.3 seconds. 

The manual gearbox, saving more weight over the dual-clutch automatic, snaps precisely and just how you’d like an analogue M-car to, as well. Power is sent to the rear wheels, but grip levels are mega. Yet it’s possible to hold the M2 CS in gentle slides if you try. 

Factor in enormous stopping power from the brakes – it’ll stop from 62mph in just 32.8 metres or 124mph to a dead stop in just over 130 metres – and it’s apparent that few things out there are quite so agile both on the move and when scrubbing speed, too.

Key specs

  • Model: BMW M2 CS
  • Price: £75,320
  • Engine: 3.0-litre 6cyl turbo petrol
  • Power/torque: 444bhp/550Nm
  • Transmission: Six-speed manual, rear-wheel-drive
  • 0-62mph: 4.3 seconds
  • Top speed: 174mph
  • Economy/CO2: 27.4mpg/238g/km
  • On sale: Now

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