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How the new BMW M2 Coupé just changed everything

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Story by Andrew McCredie

When your laboratory is one of most demanding racetracks on the planet, it’s little surprise that your creations are some of the most exciting and exacting machines in the world. For more than four decades, BMW’s M (for ‘Motorsport’) division has tuned, tested and tormented its specially bred, high-performance road cars at the Nürburgring facility nestled in the forested Eifel Mountains of Germany. The first of those creations was the legendary M1; the latest is the M2. And while the M1 was a hand-built, mid-engine masterpiece designed for the track, and the M2 is the M-brand entry-level model designed for the roadways, there DNA could not be more alike. Both are lightweight, rear-wheel drive coupes powered by big, technically advanced engines. And both encapsulate BMW’s commitment to building great handling and great-looking cars. The M2 Coupé had its global coming-out party a few months ago at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit and, despite its small stature, delivered the knockout blow in the Motor City. One look tells you why.

BMW’s M designers have worked their quintessential magic with the M2’s exterior—flaring the wheel arches, creasing the body here, rounding it there—to give the Coupé a menacing, yet striking, outward appearance. And inside the cabin, there’s no mistaking this for anything but a cockpit engineered for a driver who dares their vehicles to keep up. Aesthetics aside, as is the case with all M cars, it’s what can’t be seen that really sets it apart from competitors. Inside the M2 beats the heart of a cham pion in the form of an all-new, TwinPower Turbo inline six-cylinder engine producing 370 horsepower. Amazingly, this power propels a two-door M2 that weighs well under 1,600 kilograms. Equipped with the six-speed manual, the M2 sprints from a standstill to 100 km/h in just 4.5 seconds; shave 0.2 of a second off that blistering time if you’ve got the seven-speed DCT automatic transmission under foot. All this power, of course, comes with plenty of control to harness it: the standardfeature Active M Differential keeps the M2 on track, while the M compound brakes allow intuitive and near-instant correction.

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DCT Auto

18 city/26 hwy

Manual 6-Speed

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DCT Auto 

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Manual 6-Speed

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With production of the M2 just revving up, very few have had a chance to experience what an outstanding compact performance coupe it really is. One of the fortunate few who have is Brian Jessel BMW’s Valentino Almeida, celebrating his 20th year as a Gold Sales Master with the dealership. In addition to being the top BMW retailer in Canada for 2015, Brian Jessel BMW is also the top M brand retailer in the country. As such, Almeida was recently invited down to the BMW Performance Driving School facility in Palm Springs to get a first-hand look at—and drive—the all-new M2 Coupé. 

“Amazing” is how he describes the experience when asked about the car. “The M2 has a wide track and 50/50 weight distribution,” Almeida says, noting that when combined with its lightweight design, onboard driving dynamic systems and powerful engine, “all that adds up to no body roll when you are taking a sharp turn at speed.”But what Valentino really likes about the M2 is its functionality.

“Despite it’s on-track abilities, it is still a four-seater with a good-sized trunk, which is a huge advantage as most performance cars in this class are two-seaters.” The Gold Sales Master, one of just 15 with that coveted designation in Canada, also sees another strong selling point—excellent value for money.

“For the price point at under $70,000, it’s a great starting point for someone wanting to get into the M brand,” he notes. “And once you’ve experienced how an M car drives and feels, well, you won’t go back to a regular production car. You’re going to want to upgrade to an M4 or an M3.”

The blown minds in the automotive industry means the M2 Coupé is going to be rarer than a single-family home in downtown Vancouver. Brian Jessel BMW has sold out for 2016 and is currently taking orders for 2017. 

“For the price point at under $70,000, it’s a great starting point for someone wanting to get into the M brand”

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During Brian Jessel BMW’s biggest night, it was easy to see why Paul Killeen was named the dealership’s 2016 Employee of the Year by his fellow staffers. As the sparkly guests swelled (and swilled) throughout the night, the customer relations advisor was seemingly everywhere: at the door to start the night, checking wristbands at the VIP zone when the house got packed, then shooting video as the speeches and stage show kicked off. Killeen, celebrating 10 years with the dealership this year, started as a sales consultant, then moved into his customer relations supervisor role last year—a move he says has been his highlight with the company so far.

“Being able to join the Customer Relations team is the best part. Working with this small team brings new challenges daily and allows me to work with all departments within the company,” he says. “It’s also a rare opportunity to work with someone I can truly learn from and that I respect as well: Leslie Grover, our department head.” The Employee of the Year honour is sourced through employee nominations, says management, and Killeen was chosen for his ability to step up and help anyone, wherever he’s needed. “I’m so honoured to be named employee of the year,” he says.

“I hope it’s because I bring a level of enthusiasm and humour consistently. I try to get to know as many people as I can in all departments and for me it’s these relationships that make the long days enjoyable.”


Dawn MacLean
Valet Supervisor

“My Brian Jessel customers are like family!”

Kristen Showers
Parts Advisor

“Clients who are absolutely in love with their BMW.”

Dawn MacLean
Valet Supervisor

“When they come to pick up their new BMW and the expression on the face.”

Carl Bylenga
Shop Foreman

“I love meeting the expectations and making them happy.””

Dave Harley
Facilities Manager

“We treat our customers like family because we are one.”

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BMW Miniature 1:43 M3 E92 DTM

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BMW Logo Caps

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BMW Ladies’ Athletics Softshell Puma Jacket

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