Firstly, it has been a while since I posted here due to a hospital stay and some periods of illness but I’m pleased to say I’m back. And what better way to come back than to spend the day with a Chameleon Wrapped BMW M2 and some Welsh roads to play with?
The car came from Rybrook BMW Shrewsbury. Please follow them on their social media channels which I have linked to at the bottom of this page. A huge thank you to them.
With Shrewsbury being on the Welsh borders and just so happens to be close to the start of my ultimate driving road at Knockin. Yes, they have a village shop called ‘Knockin Shop’ which will never fail to amuse me. From Knockin it’s the B4396 to Penybontfawr then B4391 to Bala. Then the fast flowing road that is the A4212 to Trawsfynydd. This route has a bit of everything from tight twisty country lanes which open up into a mountain pass with hairpins, good tarmac and little traffic before opening up further past Bala with fast flowing wide A roads with sweeping bends and fantastic views. I even discovered a new road which for a short blast is incredible. I say new road, it’s the same number as we were on earlier, the B4391 diverting off of the A4212 short of Trawsfynydd and cutting the corner to Ffestiniog. If BMW needed a road to showcase how incredible the M2 is then this is it, even if I found it myself. Best of all is there’s hardly another sole on these epic stretches of tarmac.
I’ve been dying to drive an M2 for some time after hearing nothing but good words about it in the media world. It had a lot to live up to and it didn’t disappoint. I wondered how much of a step up it would be from the M240i I drove a couple of months back but I needn’t have worried. Where the M240i felt like a very good but ‘ordinary’ car turned up to 10 the M2 immediately felt more focused and a car designed primarily for driving quickly made a little more usable for the road. A proper M car then!
Under the bonnet is a 3.0 litre 6 cylinder engine with a single twin scroll turbocharger producing 365bhp and giving it a 0-62mph time of 4.3 seconds in DCT form. You can even have the M2 with a manual gearbox which although described as the one to have elsewhere I never felt short changed for having a quick shifting dual clutch to use instead. It sounds great from startup and has a real rasp near the top of the rev range. You know you’re in something special even with the standard exhaust system.
The torque is a huge plus factor though with 500nm on overboost, it is always ready to go and massively quick from any revs. Unlike the M3 I drove a while back however, the M2 uses all that power and all that torque without any issue. Admittedly I only drove it on warm dry tarmac but where the M3 felt boosty and unpredictable in its power delivery the M2 felt linear and was massively confidence inspiring. Over the whole day I didn’t notice the traction control light come on once yet it gave you 90% of the sensation of speed of the M3 at legal velocities. I’d really like to try the M3/M4 again now the weather is warmer, it did snow at points when I had it last time, so to draw a more fair comparison to its little brother.
As a car for the road I can’t imagine you ever wanting for more power. Certainly not on a windy countryside route. There was something so rewarding about being able to deploy all of the power and all of the noise for more than half a second without even breaking the speed limit on the tight stuff. On that last bit of B4391 you could drive hard and enjoy all of the performance through the first three gears and still only be doing around 60 mph which is quick enough on such a tight twisty road. Maybe if you were on a track, or the autobahn you might start wanting more power but not on UK roads. I did find myself avoiding Sport plus mode however because the gearshifts became a little too harsh for me. In sport the shifts were smooth and quick and you lost none of the drama for not being in the most extreme setup.
Power is no good without control and the M2 really shows the world how it’s done on this front. It turns in sharply with very little body roll but still plenty of compliance over uneven ground and bumpy welsh roads and you know exactly what the car is doing inspiring huge confidence. It is without doubt one of the best handling cars I’ve had the pleasure of driving and with the performance on offer and the usability of that performance it really is hard to critisise and almost impossible to find fault from a driving perspective. The only slightly weak point I felt was the braking which felt a little weak occasionally but this could be due to the car only having covered 600 or so miles.
Inside the car it is very much a 2 series and that would be my only serious critisism of the car. The 2 series is a wonderful car with a great interior but it would be nice in the M2 to have more than some alcantara door cards and a few badges to make it stand out. That said it was comfortable and as well built as any other BMW and I had no issues driving it all day.
It woudn’t be fair not to mention the incredible wrap on this car which turns heads wherever you go. The way it changes colour under different lights and at different angles is amazing and the matte finish delicious. It is very marmite. People seemed to either love it or laugh but if you want to stand out there’s not much better.
All in all my day with the M2 was incredible and probably the best driving day I’ve had. Those roads with what was the perfect car for them on a summers day all aligned together to give me an experience that dreams are made of. The M2 Competition is an exciting prospect. I just hope they don’t spoil a near perfect formula when the new car arrives.
I can’t thank Rybrook Shrewsbury enough and especially Matt there for organising this opportunity. Make sure you give them a follow and call them if you are interested in this or any other BMW.
After an upcoming holiday we hopefully have more plans including the drives with the i8 and the new M5 which is am beyond excited about so make sure you sign up and follow my blog using the link on the right and follow me on Instagram by clicking on gallery above.
Rybrook BMW Shrewsbury
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