BMW M2 CS gets all the carbon fiber and a manual, too

CS: For when the M2 Competition just isn't enough.

The gold wheels are optional, but take it from me, you want them.

BMW

The world may be gaga for coupe-like crossovers and SUVs right now, but BMW has given purist driving enthusiasts a momentary reprieve from the high-riding tide with its latest hardcore model, the 2020 BMW M2 CS.

On Tuesday, BMW ushered this performance coupe into the world, and the Bavarians' new M2 CS cares not for the casual driver. No, instead, this new model promises to be everything BMW fans have always loved about "The Ultimate Driving Machine." Up front sits a version of the twin-turbo 3.0-liter inline-six the standard M2 Competition uses (an engine borrowed from the M3 and M4 Competition). However, the mad men and women inside the German automaker's M division have gone ahead and juiced the straight six with an extra 39 horsepower, for a total of 444 hp. Compared to the M2 Competition, torque remains unchanged at 406 pound-feet.

All of that power flows through -- grab your party poppers -- a standard six-speed manual gearbox to the rear wheels, though a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission is available. The manual is something many of the brand's faithful sorely missed from other M2 models. With the stick shift in place, 0-60 mph comes in 4 seconds, while the quicker-shifting DCT does the same sprint in 3.8 seconds. Planting the accelerator should reveal a sweeter soundtrack, too, thanks to an active exhaust system with various modes.

Although BMW has yet to reveal how much the coupe weighs, the M2 CS has gone on a carbon-fiber diet. Carbon-fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) finds its way to numerous areas, including the splitter, rear spoiler and mirrors.

The weight-savings effort continue throughout the vehicle -- engineers have clearly worked hard to lighten this enthusiast machine. The wheel hubs and control arms are made from forged aluminum; the transmission tunnel inside again boasts CFRP construction to shave six pounds from the cockpit (versus a standard 2 Series) and the hood boasts traditional carbon fiber, weighing 50% less than its steel equivalent. Looking to purge more weight? A CFRP hood is also available.

The M2 CS should be even more capable of carving apexes at your favorite racetrack, thanks to its standard adaptive M suspension. The M2 Competition model, in contrast, relies on fixed dampers. Comfort, Sport and Sport+ modes are available for CS drivers to flip through, and an electronic locking differential also helps guide traction properly in slippery conditions.

If you're looking for options, the M2 CS is light on them. Buyers will be able to pony up for beefier carbon-ceramic brakes over the standard M compound vented discs, matte gold wheels to replace the standard 19-inch jet-black ones and stickier Michelin Cup 2 tires are on the availability list, though even the standard car gets summer performance rubber.

Plopping inside reveals a cabin awash in Alcantara with red stitching and a few M2 CS logos to remind you this isn't your standard-issue M2 -- or an M2 Competition, for that matter.

Now, the question will be how many of these fine machines will make their way to the US. This is a limited-run car with just 2,200 planned globally. The US should get a few hundred of these, at least, but don't expect them to be an easy find. Production will kick off in March of next year and pricing will be released closer to launch. That said, don't count on this model being particularly affordable: today's M2 Competition starts at $58,900 plus $995 for destination, and this M2 CS figures to be a chunk costlier still.

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