The 2016 BMW M2 outsprints a 911 Carrera with a 365hp turbocharged straight-six

BMW has finally introduced the highly anticipated 2016 M2. The Munich-based car maker’s newest M-badged model has big shoes to fill because it is billed as a successor to the limited-edition 1 Series M Coupe.

Power for the M2 is provided by an evolution of the M235i’s turbocharged 3.0-liter straight-six engine that has been upgraded with high-performance components borrowed from the bigger M3/M4. As a result, it delivers 365 horsepower at 6,500 rpm and 343 pound-feet of torque from 1,400 to 5,560 rpm, though an overboost function can bump torque up to 369 lb-ft. for short bursts of time.

An enthusiast-friendly six-speed manual transmission comes standard, and a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox controlled by shift paddles is available at an extra cost.

The M2 can reach 60 mph from a stop in 4.4 seconds when fitted with a stick, and in 4.2 seconds when ordered with the seven-speed automatic. In comparison, the 1 Series M Coupe took 4.7 seconds to sprint from zero to 60 mph, and a brand new Porsche 911 Carrera S performs the same task in 4.1 seconds. Top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph regardless of which transmission is chosen.

When viewed from the outside, the M2 stands out from the M235i — the next model down in the 2 Series hierarchy — thanks to a noticeably more aggressive look that starts with wide fender flares on all four corners. The front fascia gains a deep sculpted bumper with three air dams, while the rear end features a discreet trunk-mounted spoiler and four exhaust tips integrated into an air diffuser that’s painted gloss black. BMW explains the M2’s race-inspired body kit reduces lift by 35 percent and drag by 5 percent compared to a regular-production 2 Series.

Weight checks in at 3,295 pounds — a figure that’s on par with the aforementioned 1 Series M Coupe — thanks in part to the use of ultra-light suspension components crafted out of aluminum, and it boasts a near-50/50 weight distribution. The M235i that the M2 is based on tips the scale at 3,373 pounds.

Inside, the M2 gets a three-spoke steering wheel designed by BMW’s M division, sport seats for the front passengers and a driver-focused instrument cluster with simple, easy-to-read analog gauges. M emblems sprinkled throughout the cockpit remind the passengers that they’re not riding in a run-of-the-mill 2, while carbon fiber trim on the dash adds a sporty touch to the cabin.

The 2016 BMW M2 will go on sale early next year with a base price that’s expected to lie in the vicinity of $50,000, and the first deliveries are tentatively scheduled for next summer. Buyers will be asked to choose from four colors called long beach blue metallic, alpine white, black sapphire metallic, and mineral grey metallic, respectively.

Official pricing information and availability will be published in the weeks leading up to the coupe’s on-sale date.

Product Review

The 2020 Volvo V60 Cross Country is a do-it-all Swedish army knife

Volvo laced up its smallest station wagon in hiking clothes to create the V60 Cross Country. It's a lifted, all-wheel drive wagon that laughs at icy roads while coddling its occupants. We travel to Sweden to try it out.
Cars

Mercedes lets the sun shine in one last time with SLC Final Edition convertible

The Mercedes-Benz SLC convertible sports car is going out of production. Launched in 1996 as the SLK, the model has been a fixture in the Mercedes-Benz lineup across three generations.
Cars

Amazon plugs in with $700 million investment in electric pickup company Rivian

Amazon invested $700 million for a minority stake in U.S. all-electric truck maker Rivian, according to a joint release. The announcement follows a Reuters report that GM and Amazon might invest $1 billion to $2 billion in the company.
Cars

Bentley Bentayga Speed surpasses Lamborghini Urus as world’s fastest SUV

The Bentley Bentayga Speed has wrested the title of world's fastest SUV from its cousin, the Lamborghini Urus. But the Bentley is just 1 mph faster than the Lamborghini. It requires 626 horsepower to achieve that top speed.
Product Review

Mercedes-Benz updates the timeless G-wagen for the modern world

For decades, the G-Class has been an outlier in the Mercedes-Benz portfolio, a body-on-frame brute with the soul – and driving manners – of an off-road pickup. With the all-new G550, Mercedes seeks to smooth out some of the rough edges.
Cars

2020 GMC Acadia toughens up on the outside, gets smarter on the inside

The 2020 GMC Acadia crossover gets styling updates and a more rugged AT4 trim level. Under the skin, the Acadia sports a new turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a wider array of tech features.
Cars

Nissan is using old Leaf batteries to power and connect off-the-grid campers

Nissan has teamed up with trailer manufacturer Opus to design a mobile, weatherproof power pack built with battery cells sourced from the first-generation Leaf. Called Roam, the pack stores enough electricity to power a camper for up to a…
Cars

Alfa Romeo’s latest Ferrari-powered F1 race car is ready to hit the track

Alfa Romeo is doubling down on Formula One racing after a decades-long hiatus. Now essentially a support team for Ferrari, its 2019 driver lineup includes a former world champion and a potential future star.
Cars

Researchers teach self-driving cars to predict pedestrians’ next moves

University of Michigan researchers are developing a system that teaches self-driving cars to predict pedestrian movement. Humans don't always act in their own best self-interest, so autonomous cars will need to practice protective driving.
Cars

Subaru’s latest VIZIV concept car is pumped full of adrenaline

The Subaru VIZIV Adrenaline is the seventh member of the Japanese automaker's family of VIZIV concept cars. It debuts at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, but for now, all we're getting is a shadowy teaser image.
Cars

Audi is advancing the tech that teaches cars to talk to traffic lights

Audi is teaching its cars the language of traffic lights. The company developed technology that tells motorists what speed they should drive at in order to catch as many green lights as possible.
Cars

Waymo rules and Apple trails in California self-driving car benchmarks

California's DMV releases annual reports of self-driving car disengagements on public roads. In the most recent reports. Waymo had the best performance, GM Cruise came in second, and Apple's self-driving program was in last place.
Cars

Watch a modified Audi e-tron electric SUV drive straight up a ski slope

A modified Audi e-tron climbed up an 85-percent gradient on an Austrian ski slope in a tribute to a classic Audi commercial. The vehicle used for the stunt sported an extra electric motor and spiked tires.
Cars

Mamma mia! Alfa Romeo will unveil a new model at the Geneva Auto Show

Alfa Romeo told Digital Trends it will unveil a new model at the 2019 Geneva Auto Show. It stopped short of revealing what it has in store, but rumors claim it will be a crossover positioned below the Stelvio.