A dose of that hallmark BMW raspy sound is still there.
The new BMW M2 is imminent. Frankly, it's a car that is going to have to follow a very, very successful debut, so to speak. The original M2 is one of those cars you could call a "future classic" with a high level of certainty. As a result, it's important for BMW to follow that act well, especially given the company's looming electrified future.
Thankfully, BMW seems to be putting in the time. Two M2s were seen testing on the Nurburgring Nordschleife this week, battling it out with what appears to be the new Porsche 911 GT3 RS. Of course, the Porsche was faster, but for a split second, we get sweet unchained head-to-head action.
The driver of the first M2 gives the GT3 RS the point-by pretty much immediately. But it also raised a question. Why are there two M-cars on The Ring? Different tire testing? BMW could be selling the M2 with a few different sets of rubber. More likely is that BMW has two test mules with two different transmissions.
We know now that the M2 will offer two transmissions. The automatic (likely BMW's dual-clutch) will be available everywhere. But the manual is awaiting confirmation but pictures suggest BMW is offering it. What market it is for is still unclear. We have reports that suggest the stick could be a US-only option, but you never really know with BMW moves. Additionally, that auto could be reserved for Competition models, with a manual as standard. For now, it's anyone's guess.
Regardless, that is the most plausible reason these two cars were testing on-track at the Nurburgring. We also get to hear a bit more of the M2's turbocharged exhaust note. In summary, it sounds as fantastic as we expect from an M-car. The inline-six engine will make north of 440 horsepower, and it keeps that traditional BMW raspy-ness we've had in the brand's inline-sixes since the E46 S54 motor.
Right now, we don't really have a debut timeline for the newest BMW M2. Logic says that the M2 will be here late this summer or early this fall, which means the first cars will be showing up at dealers right around the holidays.