In the span of just two days, the distance between a longtime childhood friend and my residence was cut from a 35-hour drive down to just a measly five-and-a-half. While living in Michigan for two years, my buddy’s apartment in the depths of San Francisco might as well have been a moonshot away. Once I settled into LA, I grabbed the keys to our Four Seasons 2017 BMW M2 and drove northward to the Bay Area to make up for lost time.
Poor Bimmer. Just as the M2 finished shaking the dust from Pikes Peak off after Features Editor Rory Jurnecka’s cross-country blast, it was time to hit the road again. Its roughly 400 miles from my place to his and I want to get there in as little time as possible, so no scenic routes here – just a straight shot up the rather bland I-5.
Departure was first light on Saturday morning, rousing myself with a quick fuel-and-coffee stop before the sprint to the highway, beating out both churchgoers and early rising workers. Once underway, the M2 had its run of the extensive network of LA freeways before breaking free of the urban sprawl.
The 3.0-liter single-turbo inline-six was great for empty on-ramps, quickly breaking into supra-legal speeds without much fuss. From a dead stop up to around 70 mph, the 365 hp and 369 lb-ft from the sixer is compressive, but the grunt begins to fall off once you start to dip into speeds frowned upon by law enforcement anywhere in the country.
At 80 mph, the engine isn’t spinning too high–around 2,400 rpm–and 20/26 mpg city/hwy fuel economy isn’t terrible, but the very best you can expect from the 13.7-gallon tank is around 350 miles, which led me to join contributor Marc Noordeloos in wishing for more range.
On the mostly smooth I-5, the M2’s non-adjustable, non-adaptive suspension was forgiving enough for long distances. However, San Francisco’s construction and pothole-ridden inner-city streets were a bit too rough for the M2’s liking, losing some of its dual-purpose charm in the bumpier patches.
Once parked in front of my friend’s rented house, the narrow trunk opening hid a deceptively large trunk space that disgorged a backpack, overnight bag, pillow, and large rucksack filled with two air mattresses. Not too shabby for a coupe of the 2-Series’ diminutive stature.
My bag unpacked and my lovely PVC bedding inflated, it was time to relocate the Bimmer, as the stretch of road in front of the house was permit only. We scooted across town to a few blocks across town, where we stowed the BMW on a packed side street for the weekend. Finding an open stretch of curb wasn’t easy, but the M2’s small size made parallel parking easy. Two days later, we found the M2 unsullied by the mean streets of SF and packed it up for the return journey.
Following the earlier playdate with a very orange 1 Series M and its cross-country trek, this was hardly the most exciting thing our 2017 BMW M2 had to endure, but it proved itself to be as multi-purpose as we’ve come to expect from the M badge.
Our 2017 BMW M2
|MILES TO DATE||23,785|
|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|