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For the Track: Can's 2019 BMW M2 Competition



For the Track: Can's 2019 BMW M2 Competition

Performance Technic

Next in our series of customer spotlights is Can Tuzla and his newly acquired M2 Competition. We recently headed up to the mountains to shoot and talk about the car, future plans, and what Can really loves about driving.


Performance Technic: When do you think your passion for the automotive and for driving began? 

Can Tuzla: As far back as I can remember. I think most of us had different sorts of toy cars or car games as kids. I did too but I was always more interested in cars on the street, different makes and models. I remember playing this guessing game with my parents when I was 5 or 6 years old. The goal was to guess the make and model of the cars from a distance that were parked on the street. At that age, I didn't know how to read but I could recognize the make and model of majority of the cars without having to look at what says on the back. And when I learned how to read, unlike my friends, I chose to read car magazines instead of kids books. So I was hooked from the beginning.

PT: Have you always liked BMWs specifically? What BMWs have you owned and what drew you to them? 

CT: There have always been different models that I admired from different brands. However, I've always had a soft spot for BMWs. When I was a kid, it was mostly the styling that impressed me and interestingly the first BMW I fell in love with wasn't an E30 or E36. It was the Z3 Roadster. I still have a red Z3 Roadster model car that my parents bought me when I was 8. The more I read about BMW's driving dynamics at later ages the more I fell in love with the brand.

Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to own or drive one up until I graduated from college and moved to the US (For those who are wondering why, I'm originally from Turkey, the country that has probably the highest gas prices and automotive taxes. Just to give an example,  a brand new M2 Competition costs over $200,000 in Turkey). Now I'm trying to make up for all those years that were spent without a BMW. I started my BMW journey with a 2014 F30 328i 4 years ago. Even though it drove pretty well, it lacked some character and sadly, I got bored of it rather quickly. I grew up driving MT cars and the AT in the F30 was another big reason why I couldn't love it. I sold it 2 years later and got a 2016 M4 Competition 6MT in Sakhir Orange. It was such an upgrade and loved every second of driving it! S55 may not be one of the best sounding engines out there but it's absolutely amazing in everything else in my opinion. I sold it after 2 years of ownership and got a 2019 M2 Competition 6MT. Check out next question to see why I made this move.

PT: What led you to acquire your M2 Competition and why did this car stand out to you over the original M2? 

CT: I really like small cars that are fun to drive—especially with this new trend of making each generation of a model bigger and heavier than the previous one. F87 (M2 and M2 Competition) is the smallest M currently available in BMW's lineup. In 2015 when I heard that M2 was coming, I was super excited and thought this might be my next car. I called more than 60 dealers to put my name down on a waitlist. I secured a #1 spot on a local dealer and ordered an M2 in March 2016. Later on after seeing some dyno results, track tests, and other reviews, I thought it was a great car. However, a couple of heat soaking reports at the track (and even at dyno runs) drove me away from my decision. I ended up getting an M4 Competition but couldn't really forget about the M2 and its perfect size. In the past two years, every time I drove my M4, I always thought "This S55 should be combined with the F87 chassis. I wish BMW would make it happen..." and they finally made it happen! As I said, the M4 was a great car for me and I never had any issues with it, but always wished it was bit smaller.


PT: Compared to your M4, how does the M2 Competition perform with the same engine configuration? Does it feel similar? Better?

CT: On paper, the M2 Competition (M2C) and M4 Competition (M4C) make exactly the same amount of torque (406lb-ft) while M4C has about 40HP extra (405HP vs 444HP). They share the exact same engine but the M2C is just detuned by the DME software to make sure it doesn't step into his big brother's territory. In real life, it's hard to tell the power difference. The M2C feels just as quick in my daily driving, but 40HP is not negligible and if we were to measure performance via a data logger I'm sure the extra power would reflect on the results. In general, the power delivery in the M2C is very linear and the car pulls strong all the way to the redline at 7300RPM. Even this detuned version of S55 is very capable but I'm planning to get the OEM M3/M4 CS flash to bring it up to 454HP and 442lb-ft.


PT: What is your favorite thing about your M2?

CT: I think my favorite thing about it is its size. That's what made me sell my M4 after all. The smaller size of the M2 is what makes it more nimble and agile compared to M3/M4. I must also say I'm huge fan of its aesthetics as well (the aggressive front end and wide rear).


PT: We know that you ordered a lot of your parts for the car before it even arrived! Can you talk about what modifications you’ve done so far? 

CT: I had a long list of mods, and as you mentioned I ordered almost all of them months before the car arrived. The main goal of my mods was to make the car track ready while shaving off as much weight as possible. Weight is always an important factor in modding for track, but it was even more important in my case because the M2C weighs about 110lbs more than the M2. Most people think the weight increase is because of the new S55 engine (vs. N55), but in reality the S55 weighs only 4.5lbs more than the N55. Most of the additional weight comes from other changes, such as dual pipe exhaust system, larger stock brakes, heavier stock wheels, M3/M4 seats, and some cooling upgrades compared to N55. Therefore, I wanted to focus on some this stuff in my build process.

Larger stock brakes on the M2C are not only heavy, but also don't allow fitting 18" wheels for the track. Therefore, I decided to go with Essex AP Racing Radical BBK, which is one of the best BBK for track duty in my opinion. Their performance is outstanding compared to stock brakes and they are much lighter as well. Another item on my list was coilovers. After reading numerous reviews, forums, and talking to various owners, I decided to go with Ohlins R/T combined with Ground Control camber plates. So far, they are amazing on mountain roads but the real test will be on track soon. I also replaced stock wheels (that I was never a fan of) with much lighter 19" 763M wheels that can also be found on the M3/M4 CS. After these functional mods, we dropped about 70lbs unsprung weight thanks to new brakes and wheels. The car now weighs about 3,490lbs with a full tank. I've also done some cosmetic mods, such as M Performance steering wheel, CF mirror caps, spoiler, diffuser, front and rear reflector delete, gloss black wrapped roof and so on.


PT: Do you have future plans for more upgrades? If so, what do you think they’ll be? 

CT: Yes, definitely. My next mod will probably be a new exhaust to improve the sound and also to drop more weight. Aside from the exhaust, I'm also planning to flash the OEM M3/M4 CS tune later in the year. In terms of long term mod plans, Recaro Sportster CS, CF hood, and lithium battery are on my list.


PT: Will you take this car to the track as often as you took your M4? 

CT: Most definitely! I will try to track it as often as I can. However it usually ends up being once a month due weather, family, and cost of tracking.

We’d like to thank Can for his time and insight on his experience with his Competition so far! We’ve enjoyed being a part of this build and look forward to what the future holds for this build.