With stunning looks and serious underpinnings to match, this modified BMW M2 Competition was built to develop parts and attract attention at shows. However, it only got to do one of those things…

Feature from Performance BMW magazine. Words: Simon Holmes. Photos: Jason Dodd.

There’s nothing quite like getting all dressed up with nowhere to go, but we all know it does happen from time to time. And sadly, that phrase couldn’t be more fitting for this stunning modified BMW M2 Competition, owned by Alan Shepherd, founder of renowned aftermarket parts specialist AIRTEC Motorsport. Built to be a show car that could take on Time Attack when called upon, it ticked all the boxes of an out-and-out demo car that could do it all, but lockdown in the UK put an abrupt stop to the plan.

However, the modified BMW M2 Competition and build deserve some appreciation and the story of how it came to be starts with Alan’s development process for the company. This usually entails buying or sometimes borrowing various new models to develop new product ranges, such as uprated intercoolers, chargecoolers, induction kits, quick shifts, radiators, alloy tanks and much more.

Front end shot of modified bmw m2 competition

Each year, Alan also builds a demo car to take to shows and events all over Europe, as well as venturing on track and, as mentioned, entering the odd round of Time Attack. The company currently caters for over 20 manufacturers and dozens of models, but for 2020, Alan decided it was time to get behind the wheel of a BMW once again.

“I like cars of all kinds,” he reveals. “I prefer something that’s turbocharged as that’s what I grew up with, but I appreciate all makes and models in different ways. Having previously owned an E82 135i a few years ago to develop an intercooler kit for it, I decided it was time to try something from the newer F-series range.” At first, Alan looked at buying an M235i but decided to take the plunge and look at an M car. After weighing up the M2, M3 and M4, he decided that the former fitted the bill best and ordered himself a brand-new BMW M2 Competition.

S55 engine on modfiied bmw m2 competition

“I prefer smaller cars and felt the M2 was a good size to still be practical. Plus, I thought it looked the most aggressive out of the M car range and knew it could be made to look better,” says Alan. “We usually try and build or develop cars throughout the year to take to shows and tracks all over the UK and also Europe, such as the Nürburgring in Germany, so I thought the M2 suited the bill perfectly.”

Specced in Hockenheim silver, when the car arrived, it immediately made a big impression, and Alan admits he was blown away with how good the car was. “It’s hard to put your finger on what makes them such good cars to drive at first, but if you jump from one brand to another, you notice it’s the focus on driver engagement and the general feel inside the car,” he says. “It’s how it relates to you as a driver. Also, it’s amazingly capable in standard form.” However, although he was happy to sing the praises of the performance BMW, Alan is in the business of improving cars, and, keen to develop a series of parts for the S55 engine, work began on the entire cooling package for the car.

Bonnet wrap on modified bmw m2 competition

“We knew it would take some time to develop the parts we wanted in the way we wanted, as our chargecooler kit is made with billet end tanks to ensure optimum flow,” says Alan. “We also wanted our chargecooler radiator to be the largest that could possibly fit, which took some careful engineering, but we achieved that, and our induction kit is one of the best on the market. Our DCT cooler, oil catch can kit, and larger hot and cold charge pipes were also developed on this car.”

But after some initial work at HQ, Alan was keen to also make the car stand out on the track and show scene, so began calling in some contacts from all over the globe as the modified BMW M2 Competition was treated to a range of upgrades and improvements virtually overnight. And not one to do things by halves, Alan aimed high as the plan was for it to perform as well as it would look, so in the space of just two weeks, the car went from completely standard to how you see it here.

First came the KW V3 coilovers to improve the feel and performance of the car on the road and track, followed by lightweight APEX EC-7 wheels directly imported from America to better fill the arches and reduce unsprung weight. “I’ve always liked KW Automotive equipment, especially the higher-end Variant 3 suspension for how it drives on track,” Alan recalls. “We’ve used it in a couple of our past Time Attack builds, and I’ve never been disappointed, so it was the obvious choice. These wheels were also the only option for me, as I love the look and the fitment is just perfect, plus they’re lightweight,” he adds.

Next up, styling-wise, the car was fitted out with a genuine carbon fibre front splitter, rear diffuser and upper rear lip spoiler before it was sent off to the guys at S6 Wraps to put a unique twist on the look. “I think these cars look great, but I just wanted it to look a bit sharper and more purposeful,” Alan explains. “The carbon parts do that and work with the lower stance of the car to give it that hunkered-down and bolstered-up look I wanted from it. But for the wrap, I knew what I wanted in my head, so I told the guys, and they helped bring it to life. They did a great job, and I’ve not seen another M2 fitted out in quite this way. I think it suits it really well, and it seems to get a great reaction too,” he smiles.

The next step was to book the car in at hybrid turbo company Littco for a pair of their uprated turbochargers to see around 700hp and give the car some show-stopping numbers to back up the exterior look. There were also plans to treat the interior to a revamp with a pair of carbon fibre bucket seats and a rear roll-cage to complete the Clubsport underpinnings. However, that’s where things took a nosedive for the project, as Alan’s best-laid plans to get the car ready for the 2020 show season stopped dead in their tracks as Covid hit the UK. Instead of the car being put to use on track and at events, it became Alan’s daily driver to try and get some form of development use out of it during lockdown. “It was a real shame as I felt the car deserved to be used and seen by people, but sadly we only managed a couple of local meets,” says Alan.

After owning the car for nearly two years, it had fulfilled all it needed to do for Alan and AIRTEC, as the parts and products were launched and things moved on for the company. Sadly, it meant the modified BMW M2 Competition never really got its chance to shine, and, shortly after this photo shoot, the car was returned to standard and sold on to make way for the next project car and development vehicle, namely the hugely popular Toyota GR Yaris. “It would have been nice to take it to a few big shows and see the reaction I know it would have got,” explains Alan. “And there was talk of entering it in Time Attack at one point, as we often have done with our demo cars in the past, but it wasn’t meant to be. I still enjoyed owning and driving the car, and it opened up my eyes to owning another M car in the future for sure.”

Rear shot of modified bmw m2 competition

With that in mind, Alan tells us there are plans afoot to buy a G80 M3, but he has now decided to stick it out for a Touring model. “We still have so much more we want to develop for so many BMW models, as the market is really taking off for us, and we’ve had a great reaction from the parts we’re making,” he enthuses. Perhaps Alan can have another go next year…

Tech Spec: Modified BMW M2 Competition

Engine & Transmission:

3.0-litre twin-turbo straight-six S55B30, AIRTEC Motorsport billet chargecooler kit, larger chargecooler radiator, induction kit, uprated charge pipes and catch can tank kit, Stage 1 WG Motorworks remap. M DCT seven-speed gearbox, AIRTEC Motorsport DCT cooler


9.5×19” (front) and 10.5×19” (rear) APEX EC-7 wheels with 245/35 (front) and 265/35 (rear) Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres, KW V3 coilovers, Eibach uprated anti-roll bars, poly bushes throughout, Pagid RS29 brake pads, braided
brake lines


Full wrap by S6 Wraps, carbon fibre splitter, diffuser and boot spoiler