Consumer Demand Helped Ensure The Badass BMW M2 Was A Manual

Interview

Buy more manuals, get more manuals. Simple.

Last week the BMW M2 made its official public debut at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show. Yes, we already knew a ton about the car but it was still awesome to finally see it in the metal. While at the show BMW announced the M2’s base price and when it’ll hit dealer floors. Even after all of that we still had a few questions for the German automaker. Luckily, BMW product manager Jose Guerrero was on hand to field some of our questions and evade others altogether. Don't worry, we got more answers than non-answers during our chat.

It may not seem like it, but if consumers and journalists scream loud enough automakers listen. Consumers yell with their wallets while writers just write. The point is that external forces did play a part in pushing the development of the M2 along. “Early on, I would say everyone was really excited about the thought of it. But then when we saw externally what was happening with dealers, with customers, with journalists—thinking about the M235i…what would this look like if it was a full M2? And seeing the success from the 1M, it was just inevitable,” Guerrero said. Consumer attitudes towards the 2 Series played a role in the M2 getting a six-speed manual transmission as standard (a seven-speed M double-clutch is optional).

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According to Guerrero, the 2 Series has one of the strongest take rates for manual transmissions. “If people are buying the option then you offer it,” he said. Of course the M2 is also meant to tear up the track—and some people hate shifting themselves—hence the optional automatic. When it came to production numbers and the length of production, Guerrero was evasive. But, he did let some encouraging words slip: “It’s not a mass market product by any means but it is a little more relaxed. I think we’ll have a little more access to this car and it’s not going to be a one-year special so to say.” What Guerrero was more tight lipped about was when BMW will release the full video of the M2’s Nurburgring run, which checked in at 7:58.

“I know there’s one for the M4 GTS. I’ll have to look if there’s one for the M2,” he said. To us that means don’t hold your breath/go watch the M4 GTS’ lap again. Here it is again in case you missed it.

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