25 July 2017

2017 BMW M2 Review – Long-Term Update 1

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In the M2’s arrival piece, we spoke about the car’s dual clutch automatic transmission (M DCT) and whether we’d see an improvement over the M2’s standard six-speed manual in terms of performance or driving comfort. First order of business: go to the track. On the dragstrip and using the M2’s launch control, we found it is as effective as a trained test driver in getting from 0 to 10 mph (see graph). However, our M2 with the M DCT was better at managing time-sapping wheelspin (see the blue line dip?), where it started to open up a narrow lead. At 30 mph, where it had already shifted almost imperceptivity into second gear, it was 0.1 second in the lead. At 35 mph—and as quick as our test driver was with his 0.25-second manual shift from first to second gear—the M DCT gains another tenth. And so it goes with each 10-mph increment, the two M2s taking/giving a tenth of a second. It’s really close, but the M DCT never misses a shift, either. Here’s how all the numbers shook out (also note how the M DCT’s “extra” seventh gear allows the engine to rev lower at a constant 60 mph):

2017 BMW M2 (M DCT) 2016 BMW M2 (6M)
0-30 1.7 sec 1.8 sec
0-40 2.5 2.7
0-50 3.3 3.5
0-60 4.2 4.4
0-70 5.5 5.8
0-80 7.1 7.2
0-90 8.9 8.9
0-100 11.1 11.1
0-100-0 15.2 15.2
PASSING, 45-65 MPH 2.0 2.1
QUARTER MILE 12.9 sec @ 107.1 mph 13.1 sec @ 106.8 mph
BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 106 ft 106
LATERAL ACCELERATION 0.99 g (avg) 1.01 g (avg)
MT FIGURE EIGHT 23.9 sec @ 0.83 g (avg) 24.0 sec @ 0.82 g (avg)
TOP-GEAR REVS @ 60 MPH 1,800 rpm 2,300 rpm

The M DCT transmission is brilliant in a drag race, but in terms of drivability in traffic, our M2 isn’t always in perfect synch. It’s at its weakest moments in stop-and-go traffic, where the clutch engagement isn’t as seamless as we’ve seen with any Porsche PDK double-clutcher. Also, when pulling into or out of a parking stall, one must gently dab the throttle to get the car to creep because there’s none of it built into the programming. There are, however, a few seconds of hill-hold built into the brake system, which does come in handy when starting off on an incline.

With a little under 4,000 miles on the odometer, we’re averaging about 20 mpg, or precisely the EPA’s city estimate. Our lowest-earning stint came after topping the tank after testing day (12 mpg), and the best half-tankful (30 mpg) proved there is a way to beat the EPA’s 26-mpg highway estimate. There are no problems to report, and we’re still happy with the decision to opt for the M DCT transmission.

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