Handover Of My BMW M2 Competition Is The Start Of A New Tuning Project
By Marc Rutten
The world of BMW M is one filled with more and more new M models. Similarly to AMG, the BMW performance brand is pushing out more and more cars every single year, although not every model is a "complete" M-model. Next to BMW M, we have BMW M Performance, a series models placed in between the M model line up and the standard BMW line up.
Luckily, the M2 - introduced in 2016 - was placed in the line up of true M models. A baby M capable of delivering fun, engaging driving characteristics and a lovely joyful character in a package based on the 2-Series Coupe. Not flawless in every aspect, but worthy of the M smile! In my opinion, the most important aspect of an M car even before we talk about looks, speed, handling and the right exhaust tune being single parts of that complete package.
With the BMW M2 Competition, the Germans have taken a new step into providing an even better driver's car that offers buyers like myself the option to enjoy and experience the M2+, or "M2 how it should have been" as some have called it. The new Competition comes with an array of upgrades, changes and new options that make the car quite different from the base model, which is not in production anymore due to more strict emission regulations.
The M2C doesn't come without a flaw here and there, but offers the best tuneable package that the Germans have introduced in the last 10 years. The model offers room to owners across the World to do whatever they like with the vehicle, as long as their wallet and local regulations allow it. From engine upgrades to suspension fine tuning, and from a new exhaust to a plethora of carbon fibre lightweight options. This model has enough to make a tuning addict like myself fuelled with new ideas.
The key issue with the EU-based model which is also available in other countries like Chile and Lebanon is the emissions regulation situation that has meant that BMW has had to alter the characteristics of the vehicle in a way we petrolheads would call as negative, or simply crap. The golden words in this story are WLTP and OPF. The WLTP are the new regulations replacing the NEDC. They came into force after dieselgate hit the market hard.
Future emission standards were brought forward by governing bodies and meant that petrol-powered vehicles had to be made compliant to the new rules. In the case of the M2C, that meant the installation of a set of OPF filters restricting the exhaust flow and therefore the exhaust tune or note. Additionally, the engine characteristics in connection to the ignition cut were dialled down to protect the new filters and make sure that they would do what they were intended for. Lowering the emissions accordingly!
The output of this particular story means that we now have a vehicle in front of us that is capable of a lot more than the base package offers out of the box, and that means room for a lot of changes! Changes that will create a package that I would like to see personally, but also offers possibilities to other owners to create what they want. Over the next six months, current and future owners will have the option to choose from a wider array of tuning solutions and parts, and that is a good thing all around.
For now let's go back to the end of September. About a month ago, I was lucky enough to collect my BMW M2 Competition in Czech Republic. Together with the biggest BMW dealer in the country, BMW Invelt Prague and the local BMW M Club CZ, a handover event was organised. A total of 20 cars arrived on site with food and drinks served for the participants. After the vehicle was revealed to the whole group, the line up of cars left for a 1.5 hour drive in the Czech countryside near Prague offering a wonderful scenery combined with stunning roads and lovely views across the hills.
The handover meant the start of a process of running-in the M2 Competition ahead of a personal dream coming true. I had about 1.5 weeks to complete the process with me personally driving the first 1,000 km of the running-in and a fellow friend doing the second part. The 2,000 km service was done in less than a week and ahead of a trip that would bring the M2C to a location where it has been since early October.
This location is the headquarters of Akrapovic in Slovenia. A location that is pretty known to myself. It is the place where in 2016, the Slovenian specialists installed their BMW M2 titanium exhaust system and sport downpipe on my previous Long Beach Blue, BMW M2. You might have seen the video on the Shmee150 YouTube channel, providing you with an in-depth look into the world of Akrapovic.
With over 4,000 km on the odometer, the BMW M2C was dropped off and handed over to the engineers at Akrapovic ahead of a process that would allow them to develop a line up of exhaust solutions for the new Competition model. A personal dream which will come true, and an unique opportunity giving us BMW fans and any other person that is interested, a look into the world of how an exhaust is being developed. The positive outcome of it all is that this will deal with the situation of the weak exhaust tune, mainly caused by the stock OPF filter set up.
Over the coming weeks and months, I will keep you updated on the development process with regards to the new exhaust system that will be fitted to the M2C, but I will also keep you updated on other upgrades and changes that I am planning to add to the vehicle. The list is long, and the game is on especially on the subject of weight!
My personal aim is to lower the weight of the vehicle in excess of 100kg. A tough job to say the least, but one I would like to take on. Not because it is a must, just because it can be done and I am interested in the outcome of my challenge, which has subsequently become a game against other M2C owners who took up the same challenge. For now let's bring it on!!!
Photos by Vincero Photography