BMW Thailand recently invited Life to experience driving the entire M family equipped with race-inspired technology, at the BMW Driving Challenge 2023.
The driving challenge was held at Chang International Circuit in Buri Ram province. It was organised to exhibit the performance of BMW's handling and cornering abilities. Apart from using electronic driver assistance systems such as DSC (Dynamic Stability Control), participants also learned about high-speed cornering as well as controlling the car while drifting.
In addition, the challenge also included testing the agility of the xDrive system in first gymkhana driving, adding to the participants' excitement with an off-road driving test.
The two-day event allowed journalists to spend time with the newest BMW line-up for 2023/24. It gave a complete idea of the character of each model and importantly, knowing all the safety features to help drivers reach maximum performance and learn the limits.
The idea was to learn how to have fun with these cars and control them at the same time.
The BMW iX xDrive40 Sport looks rich and premium, but delivers great handling when it comes to dirt gymkhana experiences, while the BMW 330e M Sport Sedan shows how DSC can save drivers from road conditions, but by turning it off if you can also enjoy performance driving. The BMW X4 M Competition, meanwhile, is a bad-ass SUV M model that can join the race track anytime, anywhere.
THE ALL-NEW BMW M2
But there is one special model that secretly stands out from the rest of the pack -- the new M2, which is the official MotoGP safety car for 2023. The M2 hails from the high-performance sports segment, combining compact dimensions, large powertrain and advanced chassis technology with M design characteristics.
The large, frameless BMW kidney grille with its horizontal bars combines with a three-section lower air intake with almost rectangular shapes to give the front end a familiar M look.
The M2 features a 110mm shorter wheelbase and the exterior design measures 214mm less than the BMW M4.
The exterior boasts a bold and dynamic appearance with serious-looking M Compound brakes with high-gloss red calipers and carbon roof.
The model has been designed for cooling air supply and aerodynamic balance. The rear of the M2 also has an eye-catching look with the spoiler lip on the boot lid, the vertically arranged reflectors, the rear apron's diffuser insert, and the two pairs of exhaust tailpipes positioned a long way on the outer edges.
The sporty interior is equipped with ambient light, anthracite headliner and instrument panel finished in leather. The cabin is even more distinguished with M interior trim in carbon fibre, leather steering wheel, M seat belts and sport seats, electrically adjustable seat with memory, and illuminated M highlighters.
BMW Live Cockpit Professional brings a display that's fully digital with smartphone integration. Through the curved display, the interface's modern design offers the latest connectivity options for the infotainment system via a 14.9-inch control display and a 12.3-inch information display. In addition, BMW Connected Drive and BMW Connected Package Professional offer a range of advanced features and services.
POWER AND DRIVE TECHNOLOGY
The powerful 6-cylinder in-line petrol engine with BMW M TwinPower turbo technology now boasts an aggressive 460hp@6,250 rpm. It also provides torque of 550Nm@2,650-5,870 rpm.
The M2 sprints from 0-100kph in only 4.1sec and has a top speed of 250kph. The dynamic performance is also embodied by its rear-wheel-drive via an eight-speed M Steptronic transmission with Drivelogic. Boasting extremely sporty shifts, a direct engine connection and the ability to execute multiple downshifts to the lowest gear, this transmission serves as the ideal foundation for instantaneous acceleration.
The M Drive Professional is another element that makes driving even more exciting, while the M Sport Differential helps in optimising traction and driving stability, whether changing lanes or accelerating out of a bend, taking bends at high speeds, or on different road surfaces. Moreover, the Adaptive M Suspension enables drivers to choose freely between comfortable or sporty driving styles.
The safety package includes Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), Dynamic Brake Control (DBC), Cornering Brake Control (CBC), Anti-lock braking system (ABS), Brake Assist (BA), Park Distance Control (PDC), Crash Sensor, Teleservices and Intelligent Emergency Call.
The strong acceleration is accompanied by firm suspension and powerful braking system -- the M2 felt softer than the M4 but still runs nicely on the race circuit. The car is very stable and fast at every turn.
When we pushed the pedal out of each turn, the fun was always there. The M2 is truly responsive. It is one of the most enjoyable BMW vehicles ever produced.
BMW i4 eDrive35 M Sport.
BMW iX xDrive40 Sport.
THE M FAMILY
One of two in Thailand which is an official MotoGP safety car. This model delivers a dynamic and responsive ride with a handsome exterior kit.
BMW X4 M Competition
More power with the Competition package and six-cylinder petrol engine.
BMW M340i xDrive
Precise control systems and the latest technologies take driving to a new level of dynamism with its high-performance engine.
BMW 330e M Sport
TwinPower turbo technology and a plug-in hybrid system
THE ELECTRIC FAMILY
BMW iX xDrive40 Sport
An SUV with a distinct exterior design featuring simplicity and a wide range of driver assistance systems.
The BMW iX3 M Sport
A design that reflects sustainability with an ability to maintain torque — even at high revs.
BMW i4 eDrive35 M Sport
A four-door Gran Coupé with spacious interior and a variety of features for more comfort on a long drive.\
BMW 330e M Sport.