BMW has taken the wraps off its latest M2 on Tuesday, with a new two-door shape that cloaks its high-performance turbo-6, manual transmission, and rear-wheel-drive layout.
The M2 will reach dealerships in early 2023 with a starting price of $63,195, including a $995 destination charge.
Like the latest 2-Series coupe on which it is based, the new M2 is an evolution of the model it replaces. It has grown, though. Its wheelbase is 2.1 inches longer, overall length is up by 4.7 inches, and its track has grown by 1.5 inches up front and 1.6 inches in the rear. Not only does this create impressive proportions, but it should also mean improved surefootedness on the track.
Power comes from a twin-turbo 3.0-liter inline-6 and peaks at 453 hp, which is up 48 hp on the outgoing M2. The engine generates a peak torque of 406 lb-ft of torque and revs to 7,200 rpm, according to BMW. It can be had with an 8-speed automatic that features specific tuning for the M2; a 6-speed manual is standard.
With the manual, which features a rev-matching feature, the 0-60 mph time is a brisk 4.1 seconds. This drops to 3.9 seconds with the automatic. The standard top speed is 155 mph, but it can be raised to 177 mph by adding the available M Driver’s Package.
Drive goes to the rear wheels, and the drive torque can be split from left to right thanks to an Active M Differential fitted as standard. Also aiding the handling are several modifications around the chassis to increase torsional stiffness, aluminum suspension components specific to the vehicle, adjustable dampers, and adjustable electronic power steering.
Stopping power comes from huge brakes with 6-piston calipers and 15.0-inch rotors at the front and single-piston calipers and 14.6-inch rotors at the rear. These reside within staggered light alloys that measure 19×9.5 inches up front and 20×10.5 inches at the rear. The calipers are painted blue as standard but can be swapped for a red set.
The curb weight of the new M2 is 3,814 lb with the manual and 3,867 lb with the auto, and the weight distribution is close to the ideal 50/50 split.
The exterior design has a menacing look that hints at the strong performance on tap. Rigid lines define its front and rear ends, including its twin kidney grilles that sport a design unique to the M2. At the rear, the most striking element is the diffuser insert that houses quad exhaust tips grouped near the center.
For the interior, the car has the latest dash design that BMW is slowly introducing across the 2-Series range. Instead of a traditional hood over the instrument cluster and a separate screen for the infotainment hub, it has a pair of conjoined floating screens. Sport seats with leather trim are standard and feature more pronounced side bolsters than before. These can be swapped with carbon-fiber bucket seats that help reduce weight by around 24 lb. A carbon roof is also available for buyers looking to drop additional weight. The standard roof features a sunroof with a glass surface 20% bigger than on the outgoing M2.
A long list of electronic driver-assist features is included as standard, some of them aimed at performance enthusiasts. One of these is a system that allows the driver to specify one of 10 stages of intervention by the electronic stability control system. Others include a Track mode that fully deactivates the vehicle’s assistance systems, and performance data recorders designed specifically for lap times and drift maneuvers. For drifts, the system records metrics like duration, distance, and angle.
Production of the new M2 will be handled at BMW Group’s plant in San Luis Potosi, Mexico. It’s where the regular 2-Series coupe is built.
BMW M turned 50 in May and is celebrating throughout the year. In addition to the new M2, the company has revealed the M3 Touring, M4 CSL, XM super SUV, M Hybrid V8 LMDh race car, and a powertrain test mule for future M electric vehicles.