Interview: Frank van Meel on BMW M2 Competition

The BMW M2 Competition provides many of the answers, but of course, there are also a few exciting questions about the new Compact sports car from Garching. We have set ourselves with the expert for all questions about BMW M Frank van Meel to the Interview asked for. The chief of M GmbH answered our questions about the engine, the gasoline particulate filter, the higher the weight and the General positioning of the vehicle.

The M2-follow-up with 410 horsepower twin-turbo in-line six-cylinder S55 and some other improvements going, and whether he took on the name Competition, with right wearing, we already have in our driving report discussed. Before we come to the new M2 Competition, I have two short questions to the original M2: How satisfied are you with the existing M2-for sale?
Frank van Meel: We are extremely pleased that sales have developed steadily upward. It is well known that we had at the beginning of longer periods of time, but we have managed through extensions to Production, then to get these times. We’ve sold more than 25,000 M2, and the demand is unabated. We go now seamlessly integrated into the M2 Competition and the goal is to the success of the previous M2. The current M2 has received a lot of praise, but certainly not only. What aspects of the M2 have triggered the criticism of the customer?
Frank van Meel: It was Both the subject of the purist equipment. Which is exactly what makes the car, which is why there are many customers wanted the same, but she was still a little Spartan. What was mainly seen as critical, was the Lack of the exterior mirrors with double-foot. We have consciously avoided it, but the Feedback from many customers was that this Design feature of all M-models is also part of the entry in the M-family. We have reacted to this. The engine performance was not a point of criticism?
Frank van Meel: The engine power was never a point of criticism. The car has less on the absolute engine output on the driving dynamics, precision, agility – and since there were no criticism. But we have also found that there is in the competitive environment, certain tendencies to Exceed the 400-HP mark. We have responded proactively, and the new engine into the car is integrated, in order to get to over 400 HP. so Far, the Competition models were offered as a Competition package, in addition to the standard model. The new BMW M2 Competition is different, because he is positioned as an independent model. In addition, there is no ordinary M2. How did it come to these decisions?
Frank van Meel: We will not offer Competition packages, but Competition models. Because we do not see any special equipment, but a completely new, stand-alone car with more power, more driving dynamics, and interior and exterior content. We also had to tackle the topic of Emission control. We have modified the existing M2-Motor in the direction of the RDE, we would definitely can’t provide more power, tend to be even less. Therefore, we have opted for the escape to the front and equal to the 400-HP mark, so the engine from the M3 and M4 in the M2. The engine is OPF-fit and is in the M4 with the OPF. In the M2 Competition, we have positioned him with 410 HP.
With 40 HP more and more torque, we had an engine that fits perfectly for a Competition model. If we had maintained the old positioning, we would have the engine more throttle, what came in question. The 410 HP is a great combination with the new suspension and the overall vehicle concept. At the same time, we want to keep the respect distance to M3 and M4. Therefore, we had to make in this case is an exception to the rule and to offer the M2 only as a Competition, where it is priced only slightly above the previous M2. So we decided to make just a car, but the price to reach and to dispense with the splitting, because this would have caused in this case really make sense. 410 HP is a lot for the compact class, but the base engine S55 we know so far, with a minimum of 431 HP. Why was it lowered the performance of extra, but the end of production of the M4 is already in sight?
Frank van Meel: Honestly plays the respect of the larger models have a role, because there are different price are simply categories, and for performance you have to pay. If we would have brought more power in, would have turned the car more expensive, closer to M3 and M4 moved up and out of the Sweet Spot out of favor. But the M2 is supposed to be an accessible entry into the M High-Performance Segment.
In addition, there is still a technical Background, because for a lot of performance, we also need a lot of air. We have the M2 Competition, the air inlet increases surface area by almost 20 percent, also the cooling capacity for the drive to 20 per cent. Therefore, we can drive even more performance than before, but for 431 HP, we would have to have even larger intakes in the Front and sometime the does not fit to the overall concept. What is the role of the gasoline particulate filter? The extent to which it is detrimental to the Performance and especially the Sound? How can one compensate for this?
Frank van Meel: Depending on how maxed out is an engine that can affect a particle filter Performance. If a Motor is already at the absolute Limit and you subsequently installed one of the OPF requires the modified exhaust gas counter-pressure compromising performance. After our engine can, in principle, more power, does not affect the OPF in this case. The acoustics is an issue, because a OPF in the exhaust system provides for a certain amount of additional damping. We went from a single-flow exhaust system with the current M2 to a two-pipe exhaust system with valve control, however, the M2 Competition is acoustically somewhat more restrained than its predecessor. However, I must say that we are with the Sound satisfied. It was for us, just like all the other manufacturers, for the first Time, so a change in so short a time suitable for series production and homologated to realize, it was quite a challenge. We are very happy with the Sound we have achieved. Around the Motor we do have a stiffer front, with the additional strut bar, there are also new components and the steering characteristic curves were also adjusted. The suspension components themselves are unchanged?
Frank van Meel: The suspension components themselves are unchanged, because we had installed already a M3 chassis, which is in this Segment of high-quality as all of the offerings of the competition. Due to the more direct connections and the stiffer the front of the car, we were able to adjust the steering characteristic, we have also adjusted DSC and the active M differential once again. There is still no adaptive suspension for the M2. What speaks against it, although the components are thanks to M3 and M4 is practically on the shelf?
Frank van Meel: here, Too, the issue of price accessibility plays the main role, just like the distance to M3 and M4. The M2 Competition is positioned as a purist driving machine, which we omit many of the optional topics and we focus on the Essential. What you see is What you get: wide track, 19-inch series, not too many, the price of driving tools. So neither Carbon roof, still controlled dampers, no Carbon-ceramic brakes. These are all issues that remain in higher classes. And when I look at the price points of these components, then some of these options cost more than 10 percent of the vehicle base price, and you eventually no longer make sense. The optional Track Package is available only with DCT, why there is no comparable offer for hand switch friends?
Frank van Meel: The Track Package is aimed at customers who previously had a manual switch. It includes the DCT, the brake of Sports and the Vmax increase. With the Track Package, we simply offer a price advantage for customers who want to have these three options. The rest of the ingredients with the exception of the DKG, but also for the hand switch, of course, you can also go without a DCT on the track. the BMW M2 Competition may be the last M with a manual switch or you can let the friends of manual transmissions, breathe a sigh of relief?
Frank van Meel: at some point, the hand switch is extinction, in fact, at the latest on self-driving cars with a manual switch will not work. This will not be the case tomorrow, so it will be here tomorrow hand switch. We stand as a BMW M on the point of view that there are rational and emotional point of view. Rational, we say, as engineers, that a DCT in a somewhat higher weight to faster switching times, less fuel consumption and a additional gear, which is why we actually need no hand switch. To the contrary, but the emotional perspective: a lot of people just want a hand switch. Since we are naturally the last to deny the customer’s request. You see, over the years, the demand for hand switches became smaller, when M2, I have to say honestly that we have on our main market is USA, more than 50 percent of the hand-switch-clients and there is also in the Rest of the world, many customers are for the manual transmission. We therefore keep a manual switch for so long in the offer, as long as the customers ask for it. that is, the hand switch train is not left for the next Generation of M3 and M4?
Frank van Meel: I’ll leave That to the customer. And no, the train is not weird, as long as customers ask for it. It was already a lot of accessories for the M2 Competition are presented, including some Carbon parts for a few kilograms less weight. Why are these parts not in the normal price list, for example, as a lightweight or Carbon fibre package, and instead would also work as a retrofit accessory that can be ordered?
Frank van Meel: Because we did not want to integrate to the factory. This is because these parts are extremely expensive and only a few customers will decide. To integrate in a factory, with Carbon add-on parts and paint, would be uneconomical. Therefore, we have decided to leave it in the case of the retrofit solution. Anyone who wants to, can treat yourself so, what is likely to make a M2 but only a very few customers. The weight is slightly higher than in the past. This is only in the OPF, or there are other backgrounds?
Frank van Meel: There are several reasons for this. Of course, the OPF, but also the two-pipe exhaust system and the engine itself are a bit heavier than before. The cooling is more severe, because we need to cool more. Another issue is the increase in standard equipment, for example, LED headlights, large Navi, sound system, Parking aid front. All this sounds not much, but in the sum these are just a couple of kilograms. do you Believe the bottom line is that you can have with the M2 Competition even more success in the market as with the previous M2, although he is already in the second half of its life cycle?
Frank van Meel: The demand to become continuously larger. We want to build on this success story. It’s not like we needed the Competition, because the demand would have gone down, or because we would have to increase. We come finally to the name of the vehicle: The BMW M2 Competition the word “competition is already in there”. Who do you see as the main competitors?
Frank van Meel: Actually, there is no. We have brought a suspension and a driving dynamics from a higher class of vehicle in this Segment. I think this is a unique offer. In terms of price and Segment, the classic competitors are vehicles from the AMG A 45 on the Audi RS 3 and TT RS to the Porsche Cayman. Thanks for the informative interview!

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