Once upon a time, the idea of a model with a very tiny potential sales volume being officially sold in Malaysia was out of the question. A distributor had to be willing to support the handful of units, keeping parts and special tools available when owners needed maintenance. It was not worth the added operating cost so customers who wanted such models would turn to the grey importers.
Things changed when the 2000s started and the principals established their own subsidiaries to handle marketing (even though they still had to deal with certain parties to get APs). These were the owners of the brands – companies like BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo – and for them, brand building was an important part of the business. Distributors would only invest in a limited way as they didn’t own the brand and might, in time, even end their association.
Aftersales support and warranty
This development saw a big change in the business, especially in the upper end of the market. Those who wanted to buy the rare models of the range could do so from authorised dealers and get full aftersales support as well as warranty coverage. And where pricing was concerned, because of the need to compete with the grey importers, there were sometimes aggressive strategies taken then made the official imports more appealing.
So it’s not surprising to see BMW Malaysia offering the new M2 Competition which was launched at the Sepang Circuit this morning. Paying homage to the first turbocharged BMW car introduced in 1973, the M2 Competition has built upon the legacy of the BMW 2002 Turbo to introduce a true motorsports masterpiece for this generation.
Another new benchmark
“M is synonymous with power and has been the symbol of Thrilling Sportiness for many generations now. Every time a new generation of the M is born, a new benchmark is set,” said Harald Hoelzl, MD of BMW Group Malaysia.
The M2 Competition – priced at RM626,800 without insurance – goes above and beyond to exemplify the legacy of the BMW M. Built to triumph in its segment, the car proved its circuit credibility by covering a lap of the challenging Nurburgring Nordschleife Circuit in 7:54 minutes.
New engine based on M3/M4 powerplant
To achieve that, the M2 Competition has a new S55 engine based on the power unit used in the M3 and BMW M4. The inline 6-cylinder 3-litre engine with M TwinPower Turbo Technology produces 410 bhp/550 Nm. The strong acceleration of 4.2 seconds from 0 to 100 km/h also contributes to the ability to go from one corner to the next in a much quicker time.
The 7-Speed M Double Clutch Transmission with Drivelogic effectively combines two gearboxes, each with its own clutch, and enables ultra-smooth shifts with no interruption in the flow of power. In automatic and manual modes, Drivelogic provides the driver with a choice between preconfigured driving programmes: Comfort, Sport and Sport+.
For the first time, drivers of the new BMW M2 Competition have the use of two selector switches in the central console to directly adjust various characteristics and settings for the engine, steering and Drivelogic functions.
Two electrically-controlled flaps are adjusted to generate the distinctive BMW M tune, which the driver can adjust by selecting a driving mode with M Dynamic Performance Control.
Maximum steering precision
Chassis characteristics of the M2 Competition has been optimised to take the increased engine performance to a whole new level. The engine compartment conceals the most striking component: the CFRP high-precision strut that provides maximum steering precision – thanks to its precision-crafted carbonfibre bar that optimises front end stiffness.
Although massive, its ultra-lightweight built only adds an extra 1.5 kgs to the total 1,575 kg weight of the car. The high-performance chassis also features lightweight aluminium front and rear axles derived from the M3 and M4. Wheel location and tracking stability is further optimised by the motorsport-based solid-mounted rear subframe and forged-aluminium control arms.
The BMW Active M Differential is an electronically controlled multi-plate limited-slip differential that takes traction and directional stability to a new level of precision and speed. Full locking power of 2,500 Nm is available within 150 milliseconds, allowing the system to prevent the wheels from spinning in dangerous situations.
Different design language from predecessor
The exterior design language is a sleek departure from its coupe predecessor. Its new front skirt with modified air intake optimises air flow to the sophisticated cooling system, while simultaneously improving the visual presence of the car. The larger BMW kidney grille is painted in high-gloss black, as are the side gills on the front wings for a distinctive sporty profile.
There’s also a revised new exhaust system. The dual-branch design features a new muffler and the 4 tailpipes, finished in black chrome, immediately identify it as a BMW M model.
The M ambience within
The visually outstanding exterior design language is reflected within as well. Inside, drivers will immediately recognise the distinct M2 Competition badge on the door sills. Drivers can then settle onto the M Sport seat bearing an illuminated M2 logo on its backrest and buckle up with the classic M-woven safety belts.
The instrument cluster with Black Panel Technology rests comfortably within view, just beyond the M leather steering wheel with the M1 and M2 buttons that provide direct access to the pre-programmed Comfort and Sport driving modes. A red start / stop button underlines the motorsport heritage of the car.
Nestled on the carbonfibre interior trim is the advanced infotainment system in the form of an 8.8-inch Navigation system Professional with Touch Display capability. It features the BMW M Laptimer for enhanced motorsport telemetry.