BMW’s M performance car division reveals its second-generation M2, confirming the rear-wheel-drive coupé will receive a 453-hp version of the company’s twin-turbocharged 3.0L gasoline I-6 and a 6-speed manual gearbox as standard in the North American market.
Set for deliveries during first-quarter 2023 at a base price of $62,200, the ’23 M2 is based on the recently launched second-generation 2-Series coupe produced alongside it at BMW’s San Luis Potosi plant in Mexico.
As tradition dictates, the styling changes are significant, in line with the increase in performance over standard versions of the 2-Series coupe, giving the M2 an even more muscular appearance than before.
Included is a new-look front end with uniquely styled kidney-shaped grille featuring horizontal louvers. It is integrated into a heavily structured front bumper with three large cooling ducts. The headlamps have been reworked with LED graphics.
There are prominently flared wheel arches in widened fenders both front and rear, more substantial sills underneath the doors and M-specific mirror housings. The standard wheels are in a double-spoke design with a black finish; 19 ins. in diameter at the front and 20 ins. at the rear.
An electrically operated glass sunroof with a 20% larger surface area compared with the outgoing M2 comes as standard. However, customers can specify the M2 with a carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic roof designed to reduce the vehicle’s weight and lower its center of gravity.
The rear receives a subtle spoiler lip atop the trailing edge of the trunk as well as a large bumper with vertical reflectors on either side and a pronounced diffuser housing four round tailpipes.
Dimensionally, the M2 has grown. At 180.3 in. (4,580 mm) long, 78.2 ins. (1,986 mm) wide and 55.2 ins. (1,402 mm) tall, the new-for-2023 model is 4.7 ins. (119 mm) longer, 0.6 in. (15 mm) wider but 0.4 in. (10 mm) lower overall than its predecessor originally introduced in 2015.
It also boasts a wheelbase that is 2.1 ins. (53 mm) longer as well as track widths that have increased by 1.5 ins. (38 mm) at the front and 1.6 ins. (41 mm) at the rear over the old model, giving it a moderately larger footprint overall.
The M2 shares its engine with the larger M4. Known internally under the codename S58, the longitudinally mounted, twin-turbocharged 3.0L I-6 is tuned to develop 453 hp at 6,250 rpm – an increase of 48 hp over the older S55 engine used by the M2 Competition. Torque remains the same, with 406 lb.-ft. (550 Nm) available between 2,650 and 5,870 rpm. The ignition cutout is pegged at 7,200 rpm.
Alongside the standard 6-speed manual transmission, BMW also plans to offer the M2 with an optional 8-speed, automatic. Both are mated to a standard electronically controlled Active M Differential.
In manual form, the M-car is claimed to reach 62 mph (100 km/h) from a standstill in 4.1 seconds. In automatic form, the time is reduced 0.2 seconds to 3.9 seconds. Top speed is nominally limited to 155 mph (250 km/h), or 177 mph (285 km/h) in combination with an optional M Driver’s Package.
The MacPherson-strut front and multi-link rear suspension of the standard 2-Series has been comprehensively upgraded with M-specific components and geometry, including increased castor and kingpin angles and a lowered roll center. Adaptive shocks are standard. BMW’s M performance car division also introduces a series of body-stiffening measures.
Inside, the M2 features M-specific digital displays, an M-sport steering wheel and other typical M division touches, including carbon-fiber trim elements. M Sport seats are standard, with lightweight M Carbon seats with integral headrest and illuminated M2 badges optional.