Although it only arrived in Australia last year, a mid-life update is on the way for BMW’s lowest-cost M product: this is the 2018 BMW M2 LCI. While the basic recipe – thankfully – remains the same, pairing an agile underlying 2 Series coupe with a pretty bonkers 272kW, 465Nm 3.0-litre straight six – the M2 update adds BMW’s new iDrive 6 touchscreen infotainment and a couple of small aesthetic changes. Prices do rise, however – almost imperceptibly by $690 for the full-fat M2, but by more than $3,000 for the more basic M2 Pure trim.
The M2 has established itself as a firm favourite among Australian buyers of BMW’s performance cars. The M2 is the least expensive of BMW’s M products, with a $36,000 gap between an M2 Pure and the larger, more powerful M3 Pure. The smallest M of the bunch has been the number-one selling M product down under in 2017.
What’s under the bonnet is unchanged: you get a 3.0-litre single-turbo inline six-cylinder producing 272kW of power at 6,500rpm, and 465Nm of torque from a low 1,400rpm-5,650rpm – however, in brief periods of full-throttle overboost it’ll make 500Nm of torque; a rear LSD can split torque between 0-100% to either back wheel. While the M2 Pure is six-speed-manual only, a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic is standard on the M2; the manual is a no-cost option on that model.
M Servotronic steering offers variable weighting through the attractive M steerin wheel. The M4’s compound disc brakes are carried across to the M2, while a fixed M Sport suspension offers one, focussed (read: firm) setting for the dampers.
You’ll be able to identify an M2 LCI outside mainly from the front and rear light signatures. Up front, the bi-xenon lights are switched out on both Pure and M2, for twin-circular bi-LEDs, or hexagonal adaptive LEDs, respectively. Around the back, the taillights are now full LED with an L-shaped graphic.
Inside, BMW have subbed in their new 8.8-inch iDrive 6 infotainment system; most notably, this is now powered by a touchscreen, although the classic iDrive rotary dial and touchpad are still around. Dakota leather sports seats, and a mix of carbon fibre and gloss-black trim complete the cabin package.
The M2 Pure (now $93,900, up $3,690) is manual only, but includes 19-inch light alloy wheels, quad chrome tailpipes, a tyre pressure monitor, reversing camera, speed-limit recognition and a seven-speaker stereo.
Stepping up to the M2 (now $99,900, up $690) adds the DCT as a no-cost option, while gaining keyless entry and start, electric seat adjustment, a 12-speaker Harmon Kardon stereo, and ‘selective beam’ high-beam LED technology.
The M2 LCI is being launched in September and we’ll be there to drive it; stick around for a first Australian drive review late next month.
2018 BMW M2 LCI price for Australia
BMW M2 Pure: $93,900
BMW M2: $99,900