The 2016 BMW M2 may have only been unveiled earlier this week, but BMW is already talking about the latest M model's Nürburgring lap time.
In its "official launchfilm [sic]" for the M2, BMW claims the car can lap the 13-odd miles of the full Nordschliefe in 7:58. For comparison's sake, that's six seconds slower than the 7:52 time of the larger M4 coupe recorded by German car magazine Sport Auto last year. Still, a sub-8 minute lap of the 'Ring is still pretty impressive, and low lap times probably weren't BMW's only priority when developing the M2.
That's apparent from the launch video, which shows the M2 lapping a track that isn't the Nürburgring with a 1M and an E30 M3 hot on its tail. Given its compact size and classic three-box proportions, the M2 was always going to be compared to these legends, and it seems BMW isn't discouraging that. With the M4 now bigger and more complicated than ever, BMW needs a model that can more directly channel the essence of its older performance cars.
At the heart of the M2 is a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six that produces 365 horsepower and 343 pound-feet of torque (369 lb-ft with overboost). Transmission choices include a six-speed manual and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic. With the dual-clutch transmission, BMW says the M2 will do 0-60 mph in 4.2 seconds (the manual requires an extra 0.2 second), and top out at a governed 155 mph.
The M2 also gets upgraded suspension, in the form of a lightweight aluminum setup derived from the underpinnings of the M4 and M3. Engineers also dialed in M-specific settings for the electric power steering, which carries over from the base 2 Series models. To match the more muscular hardware, the exterior is more aggressively styled, while the interior features sport seats and M-specific trim.
While it hasn't been confirmed yet, the 2016 BMW M2 is expected to make its public debut at the 2016 Detroit Auto Show in January. It goes on sale in the spring.