The second-generation BMW M2 customer deliveries won’t kick off until early 2023, so what’s up with this LCI talk (Life Cycle Impulse or facelift in Bimmer language)? Sure, it may be too early to discuss the mid-cycle revamp of the G87 M2 and the Bavarians’ LCI treatments don’t normally change much in the styling department. But this is actually the BMW community seeking any possible way to “fix” the opinion-splitting design of the current car.
With the said purpose in mind, multiple digital artists have set out to redesign the 2023 BMW M2. And we’ve brought along two such renderings for today, both of which come from independent artists who have borrowed styling cues from… ahem… less radical areas of modern BMW design.
Once again, while BMW will undoubtedly release multiple extra iterations for the G87 M2 (the inevitable LCI will be joined by at least one sportier edition such as the M2 CS or M2 CSL), you shouldn’t expect visual salvation to come from any of these.
A G87 M2 with baby M8 looks?
With that out of the way, we can zoom in on the first rendering. Coming from a pixel master known as Matt Design (aka matt.design5), this brings the G87 M2 closer to its F87 predecessor, which was built between 2016 and 2021. The latter’s design wasn’t legendary or anything of the sort, but it certainly didn’t split opinions the way the new car does.
Up front, the most important changes involve the split headlights, which bring the M2 in line with many other contemporary Bimmers. More importantly, the front fascia air intakes drop the factory Minecraft look for one that clearly says “first-gen evolution”.
At the back, there are slimmer taillights that may remind one of the current G82 M4—since this has lent its S58 twin-turbo 3.0L straight-six to the M2 (slightly detuned for 453 hp and 406 lb-ft), I can’t argue with the choice. And I can say the same about the rear bumper losing the spaceship-like pods, even though I’m personally a fan of these.
A more mature G87 M2 styling proposal from a Rivian designer
The second effort is a sketch, so we can’t talk about the photorealism of the rendering mentioned above. Nevertheless, the work, which comes from Rivian designer David Schneider (aka @schneider.sketch) brings a mature look to the compact M car, which is simply brilliant.
Here, the second-generation M2 feels closer to the M5 as far as the kidney grilles and headlights look. However, that front bumper is a genius way to build on the first-gen M2 styling. And, even without seeing the posterior, this design proposal is mighty impressive.
Is the styling of the 2023 BMW M2 actually that unusual?
Truth be told, if we compare the new M2 to other controversial BMW designs of recent years—and there have been quite a few—we’ll notice the compact sports car is probably the least polarizing of them all. The M Performance Parts for the new M2 do add quite a lot to the quirky appearance of the RWD coupe, though.
For one, the 2022 BMW 7 Series G70 dwarfs its G11 predecessor, with the Germans having taken a page from the Rolls-Royce book here. But its split headlight design and humongous kidney grille make for debatable styling choices.
And while we’re talking kidney grilles and M territory, the recent release of the 2023 BMW 3.0 CSL shows that BMW still knows how to make a good-looking M4. It’s just that it charges $780,000 for it and only 50 mortals will be able to buy it.
As is the case with other carmakers, Ferrari included, BMW designers face a serious challenge: brand loyalists constantly dream of retro-inspired styling proposals, but the company wants its styling to evolve, so it reserves those old-school references for limited editions. But here’s the thing: nobody’s asking the Bavarians to stay in the past, people would be pleased if they simply came up with designs that go easier on the eyes.