It is only about two or three times a year that a true two-door coupe lands in our driveway for a week-long test drive, especially one with credentials like the new M2 Competition. This is a unique new offering from BMW and an upgrade from the M2 that debuted back in 2016.

We have always likened the folks in the M division at BMW to the character in the James Bond movies who plays the part of “M.” It seems there is always something new in the next room for Bond to use in his exploits and, more importantly, there is always a new sports car lurking in the background for him to use to go faster or take out villains with all the contraptions that are included.

So when the M2 arrived, we were very interested to see what the folks of the “M” division had come up with in what is decidedly the most economical, if that is really a way to describe and BMW, M car they offer.

Right from the get-go it was interesting to note that the new M2 had received an engine upgrade from its big brothers the M3/4, a straight six-cylinder 3.0 liter twin turbocharged power plant. This upped the horsepower to 405 ponies with 406 ft.-lbs of torque, this set up would rocket the M2 to 60 miles per hour in just 4 seconds.

The M2 comes standard with a six-speed automatic transmission, however there is an upgrade of their new DCT, or double clutch transmission, with drivelogic that will do better at hitting shift points in stride than any manual will ever be able to do. This type of set-up does offer paddle shifters that will take over, allowing the driver to be completely in control.

We found however that allowing the BMW to be in control was the fastest way to get the perfect response from the coupe. There was never any doubt in our minds about how powerful this new M2 really wa;, there were even a couple of times where the back end started to slide just slightly when we would accelerate hard to get into traffic. The stability control would kick in and perform perfectly and bring the vehicle back under control for us each time.

Over the weekend of our test drive we took the opportunity to spend a couple of evenings in Salt Lake attending the Parade of Homes. The M2 turned out to be the perfect vehicle for taking these tours, especially with the New Jersey license plates that came on it.

No matter where we went to see a house we were completely at home appearing to be the perfect home shoppers in an out-of-state BMW, also getting the attention of others attending at each stop. The navigation in the M2 also was a great help getting us around the valley to the different home locations.

The fact that Apple CarPlay hooks up wirelessly through the infotainment system was also a great help as we didn’t have to plug our phones in if we wanted to take that route instead of the onboard navigation, it gave us options. With some of the homes being in brand-new subdivisions, we always seemed to get the correct directions either from Siri or the onboard system! They would both appear on the large screen mounted in the center of the dashboard. This was controlled by the rotary dial in the center console that has now become a familiar feature in all BMWs.

The display in front of the driver has been redone and looked to be analog and functioned just like and analog display, but in fact had LED displays inset in the analog-looking exterior. This made for a great looking dashboard display — a little old mixed in with the new technology.

The seats were comfortable and leather clad of, course, with a very sports-like look and feel to them. There was also the addition of a lighted “M” logo in the headrest making for a very upscale touch when entering the coupe at night!

The exterior was very clean with the new wheel arches pushed out front and back to allow for larger tires and a wider grippier stance for the little coupe. We loved the new look and color that our test ride came in of Sunset Orange Metallic. The look was not so over the top that it screamed “Hey look at me” but more of a “I am definitely in control of any situation” look.

The engineers have allowed for the new Competition Coupe to be adjusted manually in many different ways with the driver being able to adjust driving controls. The engine had three different settings: Normal, Sport and Sport plus. Steering and stability controls could also be set from two buttons on the center console. These setting could then be saved to an M1 and M2 button, allowing for instant access to one’s favorite driving mode.

The exhaust systems has also been designed with two branches to the rear and four tailpipes with electronically-controlled flaps and ensure the distinctive BMW M sound will not be misunderstood. An oh did we like hearing that exhaust note. There is just something very cool about a high shift point followed by the pop, pop of the exhaust system when driving, and BMW does this very well!

The new M2 Competition Coupe is designed for just that — competition — and would be at home on any track. We loved the fact that the price was lower than we would have expected, making this new coupe attainable for most folks interested in a great street car that could be taken out on any track. See the new M2 today for a great old fashioned coupe ride!

Base Price: $58,900

Price as Driven: $67,945