DETROIT, Michigan — The timing of our Four Seasons 2017 BMW M2’s arrival limited us to but a brief dalliance with the full spectrum of the 2017 All-Star’s dynamic ability before the need for winter rubber reared its inevitable head.
Just 7 weeks into the M2’s stay, we were forced to call Tire Rack to source the proper shoes. The only offering available in the M2’s size — 245/35R19 up front and 265/35R19 at rear — was the Pirelli Sottozero Serie II. This is a familiar tire for us, as we previously used it a few years ago on another Four Seasons car, our 2014 Mazda3 s Touring hatchback, an application in which it served quite well. Including shipping and delivery, the BMW’s new tires ran $1,270.14, and an additional $100 was spent to mount and balance them on the factory 19-inch wheels.
Immediately, we noticed a major improvement in stopping distance without any of the vagueness or wandering that sometimes plagues winter tires. Ride quality didn’t suffer significantly, though that’s not saying that much — the M2’s super-stiff suspension is something of a pain and on rocky pavement, the M2 isn’t terribly forgiving; however, the chassis does a decent job of absorbing harsh impacts without totally shattering our spines.
Videographer Sandon Voelker enjoyed getting his drift on during some bigger snow dumps, at one point spiriting the M2 up to northern Michigan for a vacation at a friend’s lakeside cabin. “What a fun way to remind myself how good a small, rear-wheel-drive car can be in the winter with the right set of tires,” said Voelker. “Even when I had to pull off the road a bit to yield to a truck and nearly got stuck, I just switched off traction control and bulldozed the M2 out of trouble with lots of throttle. And when the road is empty, nothing beats switching into Sport+ mode and steering with the rear — it makes me feel like a hero.”
The only winter-related issue we ran into was some aggressive brake grinding as a result of accumulated rust after the M2 sat for about five days during a nasty sleet storm. Surface rust typically rubs off the rotors rubs just a bit of driving, but the BMW’s needed north of 200 miles before the brakes started sounding normal again.
This was actually the second brake-related issue we experienced with the M2. Weeks before winter’s arrival, with only about 500 miles on the odometer, we thought we heard a scraping sound coming from the rear brakes. When we brought in to Erhard BMW of Bloomfield Hills for a look, the techs thought that a might have gotten rock trapped somewhere near the brake rotor. After the wheels were removing and reattached, the sound disappeared. The technicians also preemptively performed the M2’s break-in service, which included an engine oil and filter change, rear differential fluid change, and a software update to remove the car’s top-speed limiter and allow for launch control. All service was covered under warranty.
Other than those moderate hiccups, the M2 has provided us with nothing but good times. The car shrugged off thousands of miles of punishing winter with hardly a complaint. With the snow long since melted, we’ve put some sizable road trips under its belt, which we’ll report on shortly.
Our 2017 BMW M2
|MILES TO DATE||8,321|
|ENGINE||3.0L DOHC turbocharged 24-valve I-6/365 hp @ 6,500 rpm, 343 lb-ft @ 1,400-5,560 rpm|
|TRANSMISSION||7-speed dual-clutch automatic|
|LAYOUT||2-door, 4-passenger, front-engine, RWD coupe|
|EPA MILEAGE||20/26 mpg (city/hwy)|
|L x W x H||176.2 x 73.0 x 55.5 in|
|0-60 MPH||4.2 sec|
|TOP SPEED||155 mph|