Thanks to the leaked photos and BMW’s massive parts bin, we already knew what to expect from the 2023 M2 (G87). However, the second-generation M2 has now arrived in official trim. And, whether in “standard” form or wearing the M Performance Parts, nobody will mistake the 2023 M2 for a normal 2-Series Coupe.
In a nutshell, the muscular arches build on the classic sports car proportions of the second-generation M2, albeit with other parts of the styling being polarizing (we’ll get back to this).
The new M2 is more powerful and faster than the OG built between 2015 and 2020, although it’s also larger and heavier. It borrows the M3/M4’s twin-turbo L6, comes in RWD form only, and lets you choose between an 8-speed automatic and a 6-speed manual.
Ask enthusiasts to name a big player in the industry whose recent designs split opinions and BMW’s name will probably be the first that comes up. And, for the G87 M2, that arguably means that while using a nostalgic take, an aficionado might’ve expected something along the lines of the 2002 Hommage concept the carmaker revealed back in 2016, one year after the first-gen M2 entered production.
However, outside of show cars and specials, BMW almost never aims to push the retro button, since the company wants to create designs that not only look towards the future, but are also prepared to become the next “classics” once we move into the following decades. However, since the newcomer is the smallest member of the M family (hey, they also make the XM hybrid SUV now), this digs into the old-school BMW values. As such, the designers dialed down the futurism, at least partially.
As a result, the look of the 2023 M2 is defined by two main elements (especially as opposed to the rest of the 2er range). The first involves the boxy approach, muscular arches included. As for the second, this has to do with polarizing details like the shape of the kidney grilles, busy central air intake, and the starship-like appearance of the rear bumper.
Regardless, in the gallery below, you’ll find two variations of the baseline G87 M2 look.
The first involves the M Performance Parts for the 2023 BMW M2 (pixel tip to @wilcoblock on Instagram for these images). Staying true to what we’ve seen in the spyshots, the compact coupe gains a front lip with side extensions, door mirror covers, side skirt extensions sitting just before the rear wheels, and small horizontal fins on both fenders. In addition, the posterior sports a roof wing, a boot lid-mounted wing, a different diffuser with a cheekier quadruple exhaust setup, and some extra cheese graters (please excuse the Testarossa reference) for the bumper.
And while the M Performance parts dial the already spicy look of the second-gen M2 up to eleven, the official design sketches take things in the other direction. This is how designers dream of the car and the more minimalist take highlights the performance aspects.
The tech side
The new M2 borrows the S58 twin-turbo 3.0L straight-six that already powers the X3 M, X4 M, M3, and M4. However, the unit has been slightly detuned to 453 hp and 406 lb-ft (550 Nm), which makes for a 48 hp boost compared to what the OG M2 had to offer.
As for the curb weight, BMW tells us that the second-gen M2 weighs 3,814 pounds in manual gearbox trim and 3,867 lbs with the automatic. For the sake of comparison, the first M2 tips the scales at 3,600 lbs when fitted with the six-speed manual.
Power is sent exclusively to the rear wheels, using either a six-speed manual or an eight-speed M Steptronic transmission with Drivelogic. Rowing your own gears means getting from 0 to 60 mph (96 km/h) in 4.1s, while the automatic sees the time dropping to 3.9s.
As standard, the top speed is limited to 155 mph (250 km/h). However, if you opt for the M Driver’s Package, that value jumps to 177 mph (284 km/h). Regardless, the Adaptive M Suspension and Active M Differential come in standard.
Compared to the first-gen M2, the newcomer is 4.1 inches longer, 1.3 inches wider, and sits 0.3 inches lower. The wheelbase has grown by 2.1 inches but remains 4.3 inches shorter than that of the M4. However, the track width has been increased to the point where the new M2 now matches the M4.
You can choose between five exterior colors (the first two are exclusive to the M2): Zandvoort Blue solid and Toronto Red metallic, plus Alpine White solid, Brooklyn Grey metallic, and Sapphire metallic.
That carbon roof you see on in the gallery? It’s an option that helps the machine lose 13 lbs in the best possible place. There are standard staggered wheels, with 19-inch units up front and 20-inch units at the back.
The cabin is graced by BMW’s Curved Display, with the instrument cluster being a 12.3-inch screen. This is accompanied by a 14.9-inch central infotainment display.
In addition, the M2 can be had with optional M Carbon bucket seats as a first, with these shaving 24 pounds. These are included in the M Carbon Package, together with the said roof.
The gadgets include 10-stage traction control, the M Drift Analyser (BMW built an autonomous drifting prototype based on the old M2, remember?), and an auto-blip feature for the manual—don’t worry, you can turn it off for heel-and-toe pleasures.
The 2024 BMW M2 will be built at the San Luis Potosí plant in Mexico. The coupe is scheduled to hit the US market in April 2023, with a starting price of $63,194, which includes the $995 destination charge.
The bottom line
It’s no secret that, nowadays, cars are getting bigger, heavier, and less dedicated to the good old connection between the driver, the vehicle, and the road. And while that helps things move forward as far as A-to-B transportation is concerned, it certainly doesn’t benefit enthusiasts.
The 2023 M2 can’t completely forego the said trends, at least in terms of weight and size. But, judging by the car mixing the brilliant S63 engine with RWD and a manual, it looks like this BMW is ready to show the world that keeping the driver fully engaged is not a lost art.
And yes, there will be at lest one hotter version, with an M2 CSL being rumored.