BMW M2 Competitio­n

The upgrades begin with some suspension and brake surgery

- Joe Achilles (@joeachille­s)

THE FIRST STOP ON MY UPGRADES journey with my M2 Comp has been to improve the suspension and brakes. To help with this I chose Swift Performanc­e in Buckingham­shire, as they have built some incredible track-focused BMWS. Last year I had the chance to try their M2 demonstrat­or and the experience ruined the love for my standard car. The Swift car was fitted with a Bilstein Clubsport suspension kit and it felt very impressive, if a little stiff on a typical UK road. To get something closer to what I was seeking, Bilstein built a custom Clubsport kit, complete with their adjustable top mounts (c£3400 in all).

If my aim was simply to make the M2 better for road driving I would have left it there, but as my car does regular track work I wanted to look beyond the dampers, springs and top mounts. So joining the shopping list was the Track Pack kit from Cheshire-based Suspension Secrets. It comprises adjustable camber, toe and traction arms for the rear, and solid control-arm bushes for front and rear (c£2000).

Together, all these components should allow Swift Performanc­e to find the perfect geometry set-up for me while also removing much of the flex caused by the standard rubber bushes.

And the brakes? I went with AP Racing Pro 5000 R six-pot calipers with 378mm discs for the front axle, although we had to source the bells and brackets independen­tly as, curiously, AP can’t supply them off the shelf. The rear brakes I’ve kept stock, except for the Pagid RS29 pads fitted all round and Supreme Motorsport braided lines and racing fluid. Due to the APS being ‘Racing’ brakes we decided to add some antirattle springs for the calipers and the bells, as the slow-speed rattle would have been painful on the road. The whole brake set-up was around £4k.

The first shakedown for all this was at an evo track evening at Bedford Autodrome and it revealed some vast improvemen­ts, most notably much keener turn-in, more willing direction changes and stronger, more consistent braking. But these upgrades have further highlighte­d other areas that could be worked upon…

More about those in my next report. In the meantime, if you’d like to get a closer look at the car, I’ll be at the September 1 (Goodwood) and September 9 (Bedford Autodrome) evo track events. Hopefully I’ll see you there.

Date acquired November 2019 Total mileage 9250 Mileage this month 450 Costs this month £10,250 (parts and fitting) mpg this month 17.2 (includes a trackday)

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