BMW Malaysia today launched the new BMW M2 Competition, the latest iteration of the smallest M model from the German carmaker, which first made its global debut in April last year. Priced at RM626,800 on-the-road without insurance, it’s costlier than the M2 LCI it replaces, but there are plenty of improvements here.

First and foremost, the coveted “S” can now be found in the engine designation, as the M2 Competition gets a detuned version of the M3 and M4‘s S55 mill instead of the “mediocre” N55 powerplant that the truest M fans deemed unworthy for a full-blooded M model.

The S55 here is backed by a cooling system from the BMW M4 Competition Package, along with a motorsport-derived oil supply system and a dedicated exhaust system – the last item featuring a dual-branch design with four tailpipes and two electrically-controlled flaps.

In the M2 Competition, the 3.0 litre twin-turbo straight-six serves up 410 PS (405 hp) from 5,250-7,000 rpm and 550 Nm of torque from 2,350-5,200 rpm, which eclipses a regular M2 by 40 PS (39 hp) and 85 Nm.

All that power is sent rearwards through a seven-speed M Double Clutch Transmission and an Active M Differential, but you can have the car with a six-speed manual upon special request. Depending on the chosen gearbox, the M2 Competition will complete the zero to 100 km/h sprint in 4.2 seconds with the DCT (4.4 seconds with the manual), both being one tenths faster than its predecessor. As our cars aren’t fitted with the M Drive Package, the top speed is capped at 250 km/h rather than 280 km/h.

Another item nicked from the M3 and M4 is the carbon-fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) brace found in the engine bay, which works hand-in-hand with the bulkhead strut from the M4 to increase front section rigidity for improved steering behaviour and precision.

Other driving-related changes also involve a recalibration of the car’s Dynamic Stability Control to allow for more delicate control, improved traction in wet and slippery conditions, and reducing traction interruption during drifts.

Visual revisions include an enlarged, conjoined double kidney grille, while the bumper sports larger air intakes with three slim slots at the base of the centre inlet. These not only improve the visual presence of the baby M, but helps to optimise the flow of fresh air to feed the car’s cooling system.

The gloss black finish you see on the grille, side gills and the quad exhaust tips are all part of the car’s standard BMW Individual high-gloss Shadow Line package, while other fitments are 19-inch Style 437 M double-spoke light alloy wheels with mixed profile tyres – 245/35 front and 265/35 rear.

With a proper M engine in place, the M2 Competition also gets dual-arm door mirrors like those on the M3 and M4, and a dedicated badge on the tailgate to make it even easier to identify.

Open the doors, and you’ll be greeted by M2 Competition door sills, while the rest of the interior includes an anthracite headliner, carbon-fibre trim finishers, sport seats and Dakota leather upholstery with contrast stitching. There’s also a new steering wheel with M1 and M2 buttons for drivers to save their preferred vehicle settings.

Cars finished in Alpine White, Black Sapphire Metallic, Long Beach Blue Metallic or Hockenheim Silver Metallic come with blue contrast stitching for the leather upholstery, while it is orange for those in Sunset Orange Metallic.

Meanwhile, the equipment list consists of LED headlamps, dual-zone climate control, powered front seats with driver-side memory function, BMW Navigation system Professional with an 8.8-inch touchscreen, and 12-speaker Harman Kardon sound system. Said infotainment system also has the BMW M Laptimer for motorsport telemetry.

Also included in the price is a five-year/unlimited mileage warranty with free scheduled service programme, a two-year tyre warranty programme, BMW Roadside Assistance, BMW Service Online and BMW White Card with Loyalty+ Mobile App access.