Why The 2023 BMW M2 Is Probably An Instant Classic

The latest vehicle to wear BMW's iconic M badge, the highly anticipated M2, is widely expected to be the last of its kind — that is, the final M-car (short for "motorsport") powered by an internal combustion engine with no form of electrified assistance. Of course, we don't expect that BMW will leapfrog directly to all-electric for its performance line. Rather, drivers will be eased into the new technology with a mild-hybrid 48v electric motor assist.

In fact, you could almost say that this was made official via an interview between Germany's Bimmer Today and the newly appointed CEO of the M Division, Fran van Meel. Per van Meel, "...the M2 will be the last M with a pure combustion engine drive and also without electrification scope such as a 48-volt on-board network."

The 2023 M2 is based on the second-generation G42 2-series which has the unique distinction of being the first BMW designed and built entirely in Mexico. Internally known as the G87, the new M2 is powered by a 3.0-liter inline-six cylinder with a pair of turbochargers added for good measure. Basically, it's the same engine that motivates the M3 and M4, but detuned by approximately 20 horsepower in the M2, presumably because of the M2's smaller stature.

Since when is $63k not that expensive?

Even in its "detuned" state, the classic inline six churns out 453 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque. Enthusiasts will be happy to learn that the M2 is part of a dwindling list of cars that are still available with a six-speed manual transmission, although drivers will pay a price for shifting their own gears. No, not money. Rather, the manual M2 has slightly slower acceleration than the optional eight-speed automatic. Remember when that used to be the other way around?

BMW claims that the M2 hits 60 mph in 3.9 seconds when equipped with the slick ZF automatic transmission. The top speed is an electronically limited 155 mph, or 177 mph if you splash out $2,500 for the optional Driver's package, which also includes a trip to BMW's driving school to handle that extra speed.

For Luddites who eschew any form of electric propulsion except maybe on the golf course, the last of a dying breed M2 starts at $63,195 including destination fee, which actually doesn't seem that pricey when you consider that the average price for a new car just eclipsed $48,000 – and the M2 is anything but average.