AC Schnitzer ACS2 Sport ‘Competition’ test 2019
AC Schnitzer has modified all kinds of BMW cars since an E32 7 series conversion labeled ACS7 appeared at the 1987 Frankfurt Motor Show.
The Schnitzer name actually dates back much further than that, to 1963. Schnitzer Motorsport has campaigned with the BMW 2002ti as well as the 635 CSi and E30 M3 racers from Group A in some of the most beloved touring car championships ever. In 1999 it won Le Mans as a BMW Motorsport factory team, with the V12 LMR. Then in 2012, the team returned to DTM with the nightmarish E92 M3 DTM and won the title on first request. with the Canadian Bruno Sprengler at the wheel. Overall, it’s not a bad track record.
But as far as road cars are concerned, it starts in 87, because when there was hardly a BMW that AC Schnitzer did not modify in a big way. The question is whether there has ever been a model with less room for improvement than the current darling of the M division range: the phenomenally good M2 Competition.
The short answer is that there probably wasn’t, leaving SchnitzerThe mantra of changing what can be improved and leaving what cannot be somewhat stuck in the lower gears. However, Schnitzer I really can’t not try, so here we have the new ACS2 Sport.
If the name is familiar, it is because Schnitzer applied it to his take on the original M2, released in 2015. Think of the competition-based car as the ACS2 Sport MkII. As usual with any of these conversions, it is possible to take some items and leave others. This particular car has it all: over £ 25,000 in modifications. The competition’s 3.0-liter S55 twin-turbocharged inline-six is now mapped to deliver not 404bhp but 496bhp, which immediately gives the ACS2 Sport a power-to-weight ratio that even the M4 GTS, with its extremely expensive water injection system and £ 120,000 price tag, cannot quite match.
This item costs £ 5,110, to which you can add £ 490 for the repainted bonnet of our car. Add an additional £ 2,830 for the sports exhaust, which retains the car’s original particulate filters and electronic valves, but uses a new muffler which, being smaller than the standard part, does not fall below the line of the back skirt like a pair of hip-hop pants. Large diameter carbon fiber tips with a matte finish will not be to everyone’s taste, and you can instead have a chrome finish or a dark ceramic finish, but visually the quality of the work looks really high.
As with all cosmetic changes, however, just to let you know, the Sunset Orange paint job seen here is a BMW factory option. Schnitzer adds the front splitter, side skirts, rear spoilers (roof and trunk) and rear diffuser, all in carbon fiber. The total cost is £ 4,635, although it’s possible to swap the spoiler for a post-mounted wing (£ 2,840), to which they can even add a stretcher flap (£ 130). Schnitzer makes no claim for support beyond changes being “significant”.
In the face of all of this, the most noticeable and potentially controversial change once you’re actually on the move seems cheap. Costing £ 2,640, AC Schnitzer’s RS suspension is the first part of the package that it perfected during a six-month development period. Manually adjustable for shock and rebound, the shocks are adjustable, while their passive components in standard M2 competition are not, and overall this suspension setup reduces the car’s ride height by up to 40 mm, which is a lot.