The New 2023 BMW M2 Already Feels Like A Modern Classic

The 2023 BMW M2 heralds the arrival of the second-gen variant of the German automaker's smallest (yet more enticing) M car. The interweb is resplendent in teaser images and camouflaged spy shots of the much-awaited next-generation M2, proof of the marquee's relevance among Bimmer fans and enthusiasts worldwide. The first-gen BMW M2 was a sweet little ride with its 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six with 365 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque. However, the 2023 M2 is upping the ante with more of everything we adored about its predecessor.

The new M2's powerful stance is courtesy of a growth spurt over the outgoing M2. It's 4.7 inches longer, about half an inch wider, and taller than before. The model also has a 108.1-inch wheelbase that's 2.1 inches longer than the old M4 (and only 4.3 inches shorter than the BMW M4), which means more legroom for both the front and rear occupants. Moreover, the new M2 has a track width of 63.7 inches (front) and 63.2 inches (rear), equalling the track widths of the bigger M4.

More muscle under the hood

The new BMW M2's upsized dimension has more power under the hood. The model sports a detuned variant of the 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged S58 inline-six engine from the BMW M3 and M4 with a forged crankshaft, friction-optimized cylinder bores, and a 3D-printed cylinder head core. It pumps out 453 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque from 2,650 to 5,870 rpm and has 48 more horses than the outgoing M2. It also revs to a spine-tingling 7,200 rpm thanks to VALVETRONIC variable-valve timing and Double-VANOS fully variable camshaft timing.

The best news is a standard six-speed manual gearbox with a rev-matching gearshift assistant to ensure slip-free downshifts. If you dislike manually rowing gears, the new BMW M2 has an optional eight-speed automatic transmission equipped with three user-selectable shift modes. BMW claims 0 to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds with the manual stick and 3.9 seconds with the automatic. Both gearbox options have a 155 mph top speed, but BMW's M Driver's Package unlocks a higher 177 mph top speed.

Athletic underpinnings

The 2023 BMW M2 has perfected the recipe of a fun-to-drive, potent, and compact M car; it has a screaming turbocharged six-cylinder engine in the front, a standard manual box in the middle, and a rear-wheel drivetrain with an active M differential to offer better traction on changing road surfaces.

It features M Servotronic variable-ratio steering and standard adaptive M suspension for a taut yet comfy ride. New light-alloy wheels measuring 19 inches (front) and 20 inches (rear) hide six-piston brakes with 15-inch discs in the front and single-piston brakes with 14.6-inch discs in the back, respectively. Meanwhile, specific chassis bracing ensures a stiffer architecture for sharper handling and a more direct driving feel.

Style-wise, the new BMW M2 looks more aggressive and "grown up" with its frameless twin-kidney front grille, square air intakes, circular LED headlights with U-shaped driving lights, bulbous wheel arches, upgraded rear diffuser, and quad tailpipes. Five paint colors are available: Alpine White, Black Sapphire metallic, Brooklyn Grey metallic, Toronto Red metallic, and an exclusive Zandvoort Blue.

Performance-enhancing technology

The latest BMW M2 incorporates old-school hardware with modern tech to deliver a spirited driving experience. The model features M Drive Professional with M Traction Control, which features M Dynamic Mode to allow more wheel slip. Drivers could choose from 10 stages of intervention to unleash more smiles on the racetrack, while M Drive Professional includes a drift analyzer and lap timer to make the most of the car's tail-happy and straight-line antics.

Inside, the M2 features a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a 14.9-inch infotainment touchscreen powered by the latest BMW Operating System 8. The standard features list includes cloud-based navigation via BMW Maps, an updated BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant (which could now open or close the windows using voice commands), and 5G connectivity, among many others. Other goodies include Vernasca leather upholstery, heated M Sport seats, and carbon-fiber or aluminum trim.

The 2023 BMW M2 will arrive at U.S. dealerships early next year. BMW will announce the complete pricing and specs closer to the intended launch date, but it did reveal a base price of $63,195 (including $995 destination fees) for the M2 manual.