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BMW M2 CS halo model coming to Australia in 2020

John Law

After details were leaked overnight, BMW has confirmed the long anticipated CS variant of the plucky M2, and  – rejoice – Australia will receive a small number of these halo coupes. For the CS variant, the car retains the M4’s S55 twin-turbo straight six – with added power – while the crew at M have further tweaked suspension and bodywork, creating what we reckon is the meanest looking M2 yet.

BMW have confirmed the CS will be available in limited numbers world-wide (exact details to be confirmed), some of which will arrive in Australia in mid 2020. This more hardcore baby M car will sit a rung above the current M2 Competition, adopting the track-friendly philosophy of existing M3 and M4 CS variants.

The M2 CS will be one of the more focussed options in the compact premium segment, classic rivals include coming Mercedes-AMG A45 hyper-hatch, and Audi’s aging RS3 range, but the car should have performance credentials to take on the Porsche Cayman and Alpine A110.

2020 BMW M2 CS Front 3/4

Australian pricing is not confirmed, though in Europe the M2 CS will list at €95,000 ($152,000 AUD at current rate), attracting a significant premium over the €61,900 ($99,500 AUD at current rate) M2 Competition. Given the price parity for the M2 between Europe and Australia, expect the CS to push $150,000 before on-road costs.

Mounted up front is BMW’s S55 three-litre twin-turbo straight six, which in this guise produces 331kW – up 29kW from M2 Competition – with an unchanged 550Nm of torque on-tap from 2,650-5,500RPM. For reference, the F80 M3 and M4 CS produce a mere 7kW more power, but are up 50Nm, though the extra torque is not available until 4,000RPM.

The rear wheel drive M2 will also be the first CS available with a six-speed manual, or if you would like, a seven-speed DCT box. We assume the majority sold will be DCT as it completes the sprint from 0-100km/h in 4.0 seconds, two-tenths faster than the manual’s 4.2 second effort.

2020 BMW M2 CS Engine

To keep power production reliable BMW has re-designed the oil sump, adding baffles and a scavenger pump to prevent oil starvation during constant track use, something BMW learned in producing the M2 CS customer race car.

Adding to reliability, BMW have had to add extra cooling to the front of the M2 CS, and they’ve done this – in the most Fast and Furious Way – by adding whopping great scoop in the bonnet to extract heat.

The scoop is but one of the ways to distinguish the CS from a ‘regular’ M2 Comp, but it’s certainly hard to miss the new carbon splitter, ‘proper M’ two-prong carbon mirrors, and more aggressive boot spoiler.

2020 BMW M2 CS Detail 2

The addition of a carbon fibre roof, as well as the other carbon addenda, adds performance too. The roof adds rigidity and lowers weight, with BMW claiming the bonnet to be half as light as regular M2, dropping the weight from 1,575kg, to 1,550kg. BMW claim that the bonnet, splitter and rear diffuser all add downforce and high-speed stability to the CS as well.

In a colour combination reminiscent of nineties Subaru rally cars, the M2 CS’s Misano Blue paint, bonnet scoot, 19-inch gold alloys clad in Cup 2 rubber and the swollen guards combine into a proper boy-racer look. As an aside, it appears this year is the year gold wheels will make a comeback – with 992 Gen 911s available with them as well – and we absolutely love it.

The CS will be the first M2 to be equipped with adaptive M dampers, choose from comfort, sport, and sport plus settings which match with the drivelogic settings currently found in the M2 Competition.  

2020 BMW M2 CS Detail

As well as new dampers, the CS gets an aluminium rear subframe mounted directly to the chassis directly for crisper response as well as stiffer bushings around the rest of the car.

M2 brakes were always complained about, to remedy this the CS brakes grow to six-piston calipers with 400mm rotors up front, and four-piston calipers grabbing 380mmm rotors in the rear, all painted racing red. Carbon ceramics will be an option too, which will probably add around $15,000 to the already pricey CS.

An electronically controlled M Diff makes an appearance, BMW claim it analyses driving inputs and adjusts locking characteristics between 0%-100%, providing minimal understeer on turn-in, and maximum grip on exit.

2020 BMW M2 CS interior

BMW have also lightened the exhaust system, retaining the adjustability but adding noise to the driving experience for the M2 Cs.

Inside the CS there are a couple of interesting changes, although specification is not yet confirmed, all cars will receive an alcantara-wrapped wheel, as well as plenty of other alcantara highlights. 

The CS will also feature a centre console made from carbon fibre – not just chintzy inserts – which BMW claim is 50% lighter than the regular unit, as well as getting more supportive sports seats from the M3/M4 CS.

2020 BMW M2 CS profile

Specification and pricing will be confirmed closer to local launch, we hope the CS will do justice to what might very well be the end of the rear-drive petrol-powered M car.