Performance Technic: So, have you always been a BMW enthusiast? What BMWs have you owned over the years?
Michael Han: I actually grew up more a JDM enthusiast and had an Integra GS-R as my first car. While I didn’t do much modding, I was a big fan of Spoon and Mugen and their Integra, Civic, and S2000 builds. This changed with the E46 M3. My boss at the time had a Dinan E36 M3 and was first in line to order a Steel Grey E46 M3. He would talk M cars ALL the time, and while I couldn’t afford one, the E46 really opened my eyes to the M3 as I was enamored with every detail of the car – from the styling, power dome hood, fender vents, the ‘Euro’ 19” rims, individual throttle bodies of the S54 motor, etc. to the LCI update and CSL variant. The other M car that really caught my fancy was the limited production 1M – with its smaller proportions, stunning body work, rear fenders, and design.
Over the years, I’ve had the F30 335i M Sport, F80 M3 non-ZCP, and now the F87N M2C.
PT: That’s a great variety of past BMWs. That said, what truly appealed to you about the M2? Was the Competition a deal breaker for you?
MH: I was very interested in the original M2 starting late 2017, as I wanted something smaller and more basic than the F80, and with the comparisons to the 1M and E46 M3 – the M2 made a ton of sense. Looking back, had the M2 been available earlier, I likely would have opted for that car over the F80 M3.
Then rumors of the CS variants began to surface, and when the official Competition model was announced in March 2018 with the S55 motor, F80/82 seats, mirrors, carbon front brace, etc., I was sold.
PT: Can you talk about the upgrades + mods you’ve added to the car so far? How have these upgrades improved upon the M2 platform straight out of the box?
MH: The one aspect I truly enjoy about BMW’s is the ability to improve performance and aesthetic items. Modding one’s car should truly reflect one’s personal vision and individual taste; and it’s been terrific seeing my prior experiences, lessons learned, and expansive research come to fruition into what my M2C is now.
Current Mod List: M Performance Rear - Diffuser, Trunk Lid, Pedals, and Shift Knob; Euro Front Visors; Öhlins R&T Coil overs; Akrapovic Slip-on muffler + Evo Link pipe; BBS 19” FI-R ‘OG’ Platinum Gloss
While a considerable amount of thought and consideration is put into each of my mod decisions, the two that stand out are the BBS FI-R’s and the Akrapovic exhaust:
The BBS LM had to be my favorite wheel growing up. With its distinctive mesh design and outer dish, they matched very well with the E46 M3 and a lot of the older BMWs. When I was first introduced to the FI-R’s in 2015 it was love at first sight as I was enamored with the lightweight engineering, mono block design, inner spoke cut-outs, and the stock color + finish. BBS only made fitments for select Porsche’s and the F80/82, and I eventually was able to acquire a set for my F80. I was glad the fitment also worked for the M2 and was happy to keep, as I parted out my F80.
The Akrapovic exhaust system transforms the mood of the car by dramatically changing the sound signature of the S55 and adding a little bit of exotic flair to the car via its sporty muffler design, materials, and tips.
PT: What purpose does the car serve for you, and how do you think it differs from previous M cars you’ve experienced?
MH: The M2C embodies the modern interpretation of the 1M and a bit of the E46 M3, which are still my two favorite M cars. In a way, I’m glad to have the opportunity to enjoy a little bit of the older M cars combined with modern day engineering and design in the M2C.
PT: Do you plan to track the car, or is it more for casual street driving?
MH: Yes, I plan on tracking the car a few times a year to see what the car is about at the highest levels. But mainly plan for fun b-road drives and enjoying around town.
PT: What would you say are your favorite qualities of the M2C? Is there anything you would change?
MH: Aside from the known qualities, I appreciate the simple, spartan nature of the car; meaning lower grade materials, leather and plastics, and a more basic stereo and technology feature set. While many mortals complain about this aspect of the car, to me it brings things back to the earlier M3s where taking the smallest, most basic series car and adding in a dope engine and suspension created magic.
PT: Do you have any future goals for the car, or is it sorted well enough for you now?
MH: Aside from some suspension tweaks, things are pretty well sorted… for now…
PT: Alright, that’s it! Thank you for sitting down with us for this story, Michael. Time for your shout outs and credits if you have any.
MH: Quick shout outs to @yasmpower, who has been my daily confidante in all things car related. From letting me check out his KW coilovers to swapping out my brake pads to always having an opinion on every possible mod, he’s been my go-to enthusiast and friend. And I’ll always appreciate his universal response: “Bro - just get it.”
And to @wtfmayne, who was a major influence during my formative years as a BMW M enthusiast. He made it critical to pay obsessive attention to each and every facet of a car and mod, no matter how minuscule. #og_gold_rim_pimp, #mesh_king, #m3_god.