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2020 BMW M2 CS: Small But Potent Performance Car

2020 BMW M2 CS
  • The 2020 BMW M2 CS is loaded with power and carbon fiber.
  • BMW says the M2 CS hits 60 in 3.8 seconds and tops out at 174.
  • One model year only (sadly) with production beginning in March.

The latest, improved iteration of BMW’s M2, the M2 CS, is here. And it brings tons of tech, carbon fiber, and (checks notes) power. Lots and lots of good old Bavarian power and torque to remind us, yet again, how the “M” in BMW stands for Motor with a capital M. Okay, it stands for “Motoren” but why get bogged down in semantics?

As BMW cars often do – quickly stop and turn, then go like blue blazes on a hot day – the 2020 M2 CS is no different.

What Engine Does The 2020 BMW M2 CS Have?

The powerplant motivating the M2 CS is the S55 unit derived from the M4 Competition. This uprated S55 is a 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder, with BMW’s TwinPower Turbo technology. The engine cranks out a very healthy 444 horsepower and 406 lb-ft. of torque. That is a lot, both for this size of engine, and the size of the car it’s stuffed into. It will add up (or all boils down to) a zero to 60 time of 3.8 seconds when mated to the seven-speed dual clutch (DCT) transmission.

If you opt for the six-speed manual, it’ll cost you a couple of tenths, at four seconds flat to 60 mph.

2020 BMW M2 CS
2020 BMW M2 CS. Photo: BMW of North America, LLC.

2020 BMW M2 CS: Under The Hood

All this power is delivered through a combination of two, quick-spooling mon-scroll turbochargers; a high-precision direct injection system; and BMW’s Valvetronic (variable valve timing) and Double-Vanos (fully variable cam timing) systems. Together, these deliver a wide, flat torque curve all the way to the 7,600 rpm redline.

The engine block itself is a closed-deck affair to handle the higher cylinder pressures. BMW went so far as to dress the cylinder walls with a wire-arc spray-on coating instead of liners to reduce weight. It also raises the cool factor a bunch for us gearheads! Also cool is how the exhaust gas is sent through a dual-branch exhaust system with electronically-controlled valves. BMW also gives you the chance to vary the exhaust sound via the M Engine Dynamics control switch in the center console. Not sure why, but there it is if you want to.

The CS has three radiators: the “normal” central radiator and two smaller side radiators. There’s also an oil cooler, two scavenging pumps in the oil sump pan along with a sump baffle to help control oil movement under “all circumstances,” i.e. heavy G loads during hard cornering, acceleration, and braking. If you opt for the DCT, you’ll get a separate transmission oil cooler as part of the package.

2020 BMW M2 CS
2020 BMW M2 CS under the hood. Photo: BMW of North America, LLC.

Transmission Tech

Speaking of things with whirring gears and such, the new BMW M2 CS comes standard with the six-speed manual gearbox I mentioned before. It’s compact and light and uses a carbon-fiber friction lining to enhance the shifting feel. Rev-matching blips the throttle during downshifts and lowers the engine’s revs on upshifts.

If your taste in transmissions runs towards something more modern, then you’ll be interested to hear how the seven-speed M Double Clutch Transmission is an option. BMW says it offers fast and smooth gear changes with no interruption in the flow of power. You can change gears either in automated or manual mode by using the gearshift lever on the center console or shift paddles on the steering wheel. Yeah, I know. That seems kind of redundant and weird, but there it is.

In either automatic or manual modes, you can choose between three driving programs: COMFORT, SPORT and SPORT+.

2020 BMW M2 CS
Photo: BMW of North America, LLC.

Traction Jackson!

Not one to leave a technical stone unturned, BMW has also equipped the M2 CS with a trick Active M Locking Differential. The electronically-controlled, multi-plate locking diff can vary the locking effect from zero to 100 percent according to the driving situation; the car’s steering angle; accelerator position; brake pressure; engine torque; and wheel-speed and yaw rate.

The control unit uses this data to detect traction loss on one side of the car, calculating the required locking effect then engaging the electric motor. Full locking power of over 1,800 lb-ft. is available within 150 milliseconds, allowing the system to prevent wheel spin on slippery roads, or any time the rear wheels experience differences in traction.

BMW’s differential even works proactively. For example, when pulling away on slippery surfaces, the lock is closed by a defined percentage even before a wheel can start to spin. According to BMW, this ensures both wheels develop equal slip simultaneously. Ultimately, BMW says this type of differential control increases agility, minimizes understeer, and improves overall directional stability. Sweet!

2020 BMW M2 CS
The M2 CS features BMW’s Adaptive M suspension, previously unavailable for the M2. Photo: BMW of North America, LLC.

The BMW M2 CS Is Stacked With Carbon Fiber

The M2 CS also has a truckload of carbon fiber goodies. Carbon fiber reinforced polymer is used throughout the vehicle to reduce weight and improve aerodynamics. The carbon fiber hood, which is new, weighs half of a steel one and incorporates functional air vents. The roof is also a carbon fiber deal and made from a “rigid sandwich construction” meaning no roof bow components nor insulation.

Other carbon goodies include the front splitter, exterior mirrors, and the rear spoiler and diffuser.

2020 BMW M2 CS
2020 BMW M2 CS interior layout. Photo: BMW of North America, LLC.

When Is The 2020 BMW M2 CS Available?

No word on pricing or when you can pick one up exactly, but ask your BMW dealer for answers to both. Unfortunately, the M2 CS is only being made for one model year with production beginning in March.

Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He is the author of Bricks & Bones: The Endearing Legacy and Nitty-Gritty Phenomenon of The Indy 500, available in paperback or Kindle format. Follow his work on Twitter: @TonyBorroz

2020 BMW M2 CS Gallery

Photos & Source: BMW of North America, LLC.

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