KUALA LUMPUR, March 3 — It has been 40 odd years since we saw the BMW 2002 Turbo made its arrival on Malaysian shores — I personally saw two of them running in the 1975 Batu Tiga Endurance race then. I did not have a race car, so I ended up as a race official, and I remember that it was a wet race. Eric N. Ooi, one of the top local drivers of that era, was one of the drivers of one of the two cars, (each car was driven by a team of two drivers).
Unfortunately, the rear axles got too hot, and as long as they were running on the track, it seemed all right, but when they came in to pit for refuel and driver change, the heat build-up was just too much. Thus, even though the cars were super fast, and ate everything in sight up, the two cars did not finish the race. However, the potential was already there. On the road, the 2002 turbo was formidable. Today, for the first time, BMW Malaysia unveiled the M2 Coupe, a pocket rocket built in the spirit of M cars, guaranteed to satisfy any driving enthusiast, provided of course, that he or she has RM498,800 (price on-the-road in Malaysia, exclusive of insurance), to spend. A little steep perhaps, but it appears to be worth every ringgit spent.
The 2002 Turbo had that magic 100-inch wheelbase (2,550mm) that was said to be the ideal wheelbase length at that time, and the new BMW M2 is a tad longer, at 2,690 mm, which is a little under 6 inches — given the extra horses now available compared to those days, together with much wider and much larger 19-inch wheels, a wider stance, and rubber technology that has doubled many fold through the years, and perhaps in line with BMW’s 50:50 front/rear weight ratio, I am pretty much sure the new wheelbase length will do just fine.
The M2 Coupe comes equipped with an up-rated in-line 6-cylinder engine from the BMW stables, the M2 delivers 370PS and 465Nm of torque (with over-boost function, the torque goes up as high as 500Nm), and delivers all of its power to the rear wheels through a 7-speed DCT (Dual Clutch Transmission). There is a manual transmission that can be specified upon ordering, since this car comes in as a CBU (Fully imported). Wheels are 19-inch forged aluminium alloys, with the rear tyres wider than the front.
Zero to 100km/h with the DCT is done in just 4.3 seconds when Launch Control is used. Top speed is electronically limited to 250km/h. Rated fuel consumption is 7.9 litres per 100 kilometres (of course remembering that this is a fuel consumption rating using the NEDC (New European Driving Cycle) test parameters). Drivers have the option of various drive mode selections, Comfort, Sport or Sport+. There is also an ‘M Dynamic Mode’ that allows for wheel slip, by delaying the interaction by the traction and stability control activation, or the entire system can be turned off. In other words, you can make the M2 go sideways, or drift, if you so wish.
We are told the power starts to come in from 1,500rpm onwards, an indication that it can be driven at docile speeds. In other words, your wife or grandmother could just as easily drive it to market on a weekend, provided of course that you have not already taken it out to the race track for some fun.
Visually, the M2 Coupe is really sporty-looking, with flared arches, and looks like it is raring to go, even when standing still. I swear the floor around the car was literally wet with drool from the motor-head media types, yours truly included. Inside, it is as complete as a well-built sporty coupe should be, and one thoughtful feature is the rear 60:40 split and foldable seats, a clear indication that the designers have also thought about people using the car for day to day use. All the bells and whistles you would need, including a nice set of buckets, electrically controlled, are there, so I will not go into details here.
We are of course looking forward to a test drive — stay tuned, because if we do, we will be sure to share the drive report with you.