2020 BMW M2 CS Has the 444-HP Heart of Its Big Brother, the M4

Oh, and this beastliest of M2s is offered with a manual transmission, too.

BMW's M division isn't immune to that eternal draw in all of us: That of sticking the biggest possible engine in a little car. For its 2020 M2 CS, BMW has done just that, transplanting the mightier 444-hp twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six from the larger M4 Competition into the smallest M product, the M2. This nets the CS a 39-hp upgrade over the regular M2 Competition, which uses a slightly different inline-six. Oh, and purists can rejoice, because the 2020 M2 CS will be available with a six-speed manual transmission in addition to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic option.

Think you now know the M2 CS inside and out, engine to exhaust pipe? Not a chance. The CS—that name is a BMW designation for "Coupe Sport"—has also been put on a diet relative to the normal M2 through the extensive replacement of steel or metal items with carbon-fiber pieces. BMW swapped the M2's hood, roof, door mirrors, splitter, rear diffuser, and spoiler for carbon bits; inside, the transmission tunnel is now carbon fiber, saving six pounds relative to a 2 Series's not-carbon-fiber transmission tunnel trim. (The CS's carbon-fiber roof panel, a staple on the M3 and M6 models for two generations now, is an M2 first.) Forged aluminum 19-inch wheels with run-flat tires further hold the line on mass, although final weight figures are forthcoming, so we can't yet offer the magnitude of the CS's light-weighting measures compared to the current M2.

The CS's performance is pegged by BMW as being bonkers—our term, not the automaker's. The trip to 60 mph is claimed to take as little as 3.8 seconds. (That's with the dual-clutch automatic transmission; figure on about 4.0 seconds flat with the stick shift.) Top speed is said to be around 174 mph, although BMW notes that these figures are all "preliminary." Likely, the numbers aren't final because BMW's white-coat men are still trying to catch up to the ridiculously quick M2 CS prototypes and download the data loggers' results. On a more serious note, the M2 is our favorite current M product, both because of its small size and its raw nature. These attributes helped it win an Automobile All Stars award for 2019, and stand in contrast with many new-age M cars' post-Thanksgiving-dinner girth and computerized feel. The CS upgrades seem unlikely to make this little 2er any less fun. More power? Less weight? Yes, please.

Standard equipment on the CS is generous, too. Beyond the expected smattering of "CS" logos throughout the car (they're on the door sills, rear-seat headrests, and the trunklid), the fancier M2 comes with the aforementioned six-speed manual, BMW's M Adaptive suspension, an electronically locking rear differential, power-adjustable and heated M Competition seats, an Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel, adaptive cruise control, a Harman/Kardon audio system, navigation, and ambient interior lighting. Options include the aforementioned seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, carbon-ceramic brake rotors, aggressive Michelin Cup 2 tires, and a sweet matte-gold-colored finish for the wheels.

Should this all tickle your M GmbHs, hurry, because BMW will only build the M2 CS for a single model year. (We're under the impression that the regular model will continue to be available through the 2020 model year, as well.) And if you think BMW is trying to pull a fast one here, introducing the M2 CS to keep M fans engaged until the new one-size-up M3 sedan and M4 coupe models arrive next year, who cares? Given the M2 CS's spec sheet, we're happy to have the Alcantara pulled over our eyes.

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