I have often complained about how the BMW 3 Series has grown in size considerably over the years, and how the current generation is actually longer than an E28 5 Series from the 1980’s! Thankfully, BMW introduced the 2 Series almost a decade ago, a more compact sporty car for enthusiasts that is small, lightweight, and fun-to-drive.
We recently spent a week driving the 2022 BMW 230i, and it was a surprisingly good car, with decent power (255HP) and great handling. The looks, well that’s a different story altogether. And for those who wanted even more fun, you could step up to the M240i, which upped the ante with 382HP and 369 pound-feet of torque.
Still, having fallen in love with the previous BMW M2 at the BMW Two-Day M School, I hoped that BMW would again offer a true //M variant for the 2 Series. And today my wish came true, with BMW introducing the 2023 BMW M2. Yeah, like the regular 2 Series, it’s still pretty
ugly weird looking, but with 453 horsepower, I might be willing to overlook that.
Here’s the official press release for the 2023 BMW M2:
The second generation of the celebrated BMW M2 excites and delights with all the elements of a classic high-performance sports car, with fresh intensity and cutting-edge technology. The new M2 encapsulates the sheer joy of driving; compact dimensions, an inline 6-cylinder engine, a manual gearbox, rear-wheel drive, and advanced technology are all central to its appeal. Fleet-footed agility and handling that remains easily controllable even as the driver explores the limits are qualities essential to the emotional experience of new BMW M2. Its expressive character is reflected in a visually powerful design that makes no secret of the car’s capability before it even turns a wheel.
The expressive styling of the new BMW M2 is a clear indication of its mission to deliver sporty driving pleasure, and stems from its powerful proportions within its compact dimensions. At 180.3 inches long, 74.3 inches wide, and 55.2 inches tall, the new M2 is 4.1 inches longer than its predecessor, 1.3 inches wider, and 0.3 inches lower.
The 108.1-inch wheelbase of the new BMW M2 is a critical factor in its agility. It is 4.3 inches shorter than that of the BMW M4 but 2.1 inches longer than the previous M2, benefitting legroom front and rear. Track widths have increased by 1.5 inches (to 63.7) at the front and .16 inches (to 63.2) at the rear, matching the M4.
M-specific design features accentuate the performance-led character.
The athletic proportions of the new BMW M2 combine with clean surfaces and sculpted forms that accentuate its wide stance. But the M2 is most obviously differentiated from the BMW 2 Series Coupe by the M-specific design features necessary for cool air intake and routing and aerodynamic balance.
The front of the new BMW M2 is dominated by a wide, frameless BMW twin kidney grille with prominent horizontal elements. The M-typical three-section lower air intakes have almost rectangular contours and optimize cooling of the powertrain components and brakes. The boldly contoured headlight units are positioned to the outer edges of the front fascia. Inspired by the legendary BMW 02 models, they each have a single circular headlight using full-LED technology for both low beam and high beam. The contrasting background of the lights showcases the advanced technology at work. The daytime driving lights take the form of U-shaped light arrangements at the lower edge of the headlights, which also function as the turn signals.
Muscular wheel arches, optional carbon-fiber roof.
Prominently flared side skirts flow into broad, muscular wheel arches to create an appearance characteristic of BMW M and inspired by motorsport. The M2’s silhouette is defined by its long hood, short overhangs, and a passenger compartment set far back. The roofline sloping down from the B-pillar and the short deck lid culminating in a pronounced lip spoiler complete the look of a compact BMW coupe with clear high performance abilities.
Customers can specify the new BMW M2 with an M Carbon roof as an option. Using this lightweight material for the roof reduces vehicle weight and lowers the center of gravity, enhancing handling agility.
Rear diffuser with racing authenticity.
Pronounced horizontal surfaces give the rear end of the new BMW M2 its structure. Classic hallmarks of M design include the vertically arranged reflectors set deep into the outer edges of the rear apron and a rear spoiler lip designed to generate additional downforce at the rear axle. The most striking element of the rear end is the pronounced diffuser insert. This air-directing element adopts a minimalist, racing look and incorporates signature M quad tailpipes. The tailpipes are mounted significantly inward from the edges of the rear bumper and enhance a powerfully compact rear view.
Exterior paint finishes and light-alloy wheels provide distinctive touches.
At introduction, the new BMW M2 will be available in two solid and three metallic exterior paint shades: Alpine White, Black Sapphire metallic, Brooklyn Grey metallic, Toronto Red metallic, and the new Zandvoort Blue available exclusively on the new M2.
Standard on the new BMW M2 are exclusively-designed M double-spoke light-alloy wheels in a Jet Black finish; 19-inch at the front and 20-inch at the rear. The same design in a bi-color finish is a no-cost option.
M TwinPower Turbo 6-cylinder engine, 6-speed manual gearbox.
The powertrain technology in the new BMW M2 brings elite performance to the premium compact segment and delivers an intoxicating driving experience in the style of a classic high-performance sports car. The M2 is the only model in its segment to be offered with an inline 6-cylinder engine, which impresses not only with its balanced performance characteristics, but also its superior power. The engine is paired with either a 6-speed manual gearbox or a dynamic 8-speed M Steptronic transmission with Drivelogic. In either case, the engine’s power is fed through to the road in traditional fashion via the rear wheels.
With 453 hp at 6,250 rpm, the S58 engine in the new M2 outguns the unit in its predecessor by 48 hp. It combines the latest M TwinPower Turbo technology with the high-revving character drivers have come to expect of an M car. The engine’s peak torque of 406 lb-ft is produced between 2,650 and 5,870 rpm. Urgent response, an appetite for revs, and linear power delivery into the highest reaches of the engine speed range define the performance experience in the new BMW M2. The engine revs to a maximum 7,200 rpm.
The design principle behind the engine and its technical details reflect decades of experience amassed by BMW M GmbH in motorsport. An extremely rigid crankcase, friction-optimized cylinder bores, a crankshaft drive with high torsional rigidity, and a forged crankshaft with lightweight design enhance the efficiency, power development, and high-revving nature of the engine. The core of the cylinder head is 3D printed, enabling a weight reduction and optimized coolant duct routing.
Two mono-scroll turbochargers supply compressed air to the combustion chambers. The turbocharging system also features an indirect intercooler and an electronically controlled wastegate. Other elements of M TwinPower Turbo technology include High Precision Injection with maximum pressure of over 5,000 psi, VALVETRONIC variable valve timing and Double-VANOS fully variable camshaft timing.
Track-spec cooling and oil supply systems, M-specific exhaust system.
The M-specific cooling system is fed fresh air through the large apertures in the front apron, and it ensures the powertrain components maintain optimal operating temperatures at all times – both in everyday use over short distances or in urban areas and during high-speed track sessions. The oil supply system is also designed to handle extreme dynamic driving situations. An oil sump with two separate chambers and an additional suction stage allows the map-controlled oil pump to keep lubricant flowing reliably even under high lateral and longitudinal acceleration loads.
A choice of power delivery: an eight-speed M Steptronic transmission with Drivelogic or a six-speed manual gearbox.
The new BMW M2 comes standard with a six-speed manual gearbox, creating a performance experience in the classical mold, rooted in the heightened interaction between car and driver. The gear ratios and spread are perfectly matched to the performance characteristics of the engine. A precisely defined shift action enables rapid, easily executed gear changes, and the Gear Shift Assistant uses rev matching to ensure slip-free operation when downshifting. Gear Shift Assistant can be deactivated in the M Setup menu.
The available eight-speed M Steptronic transmission is also distinguished by ratio spacing perfectly attuned to the engine’s characteristics and also offers befittingly sporty gear shifts. The broadly spread gears aid efficiency at low engine speeds while enabling an intense rush of power from low road speeds.
The transmission’s shift characteristics can be varied using the Drivelogic button integrated into the selector lever, with a choice of three clearly distinguishable settings available in both automatic and manual mode. Besides a more comfort-oriented setup and a setting for sporty driving, drivers are also able to activate a track-optimized shift program.
Choosing the manual or automatic gearbox will have only a minor effect on performance. The new M2 fitted with the 6-speed manual can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.1 seconds, while the eight-speed M Steptronic transmission trims that time to 3.9 seconds. Top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph, or 177 mph if the optional M Driver’s Package is specified.
Supreme dynamics, optimal traction: rear-wheel drive and the Active M Differential.
By sending power exclusively to the rear wheels, the new BMW M2 adheres to the traditional recipe for converting engine output into dynamic performance. When pushing hard on the track, the driver can use the linear build-up of cornering forces characteristic of M models to guide the car through corners with absolute precision.
Another contributor to the sublime dynamics of the BMW M2 is the standard Active M Differential. It can stop rotational speed compensation between the rear wheels whenever required and generate a locking effect of up to 100 percent seamlessly and variably. This optimizes traction on road surfaces offering different levels of adhesion at the left- and right- rear wheels. The differential lock ensures drive torque is not lost through slip at one or the other rear wheel but can instead be used to pull away more quickly. The Active M Differential is networked with the DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) system and adapts its locking effect precisely to the driving situation at hand, as detected by an array of sensors. Among the factors considered are drive torque, wheel speed, vehicle speed, and lateral acceleration, as well as the car’s steering angle and yaw rate. This allows the degree of lock to be adjusted very precisely and predictably for the driver. For example, when accelerating hard out of corners, drivers are given tangible feedback on the grip available at the rear wheels and can therefore apply just the right amount of throttle.
Chassis: a new dimension in agility.
Sophisticated chassis technology originally developed for the M3 an M4 endows the new M2 with the tools required to convert the power of its straight-six engine into sublime straight-line and lateral performance, both in everyday driving and on the track. At the same time, the compact dimensions, short wheelbase, excellent longitudinal and torsional stiffness of the body and chassis mountings, and a nearly 50:50 weight distribution combine to deliver precisely controllable, fingertip handling. Add classical rear-wheel drive to the mix and the result is driving pleasure of incomparable purity.
M-specific bracing and chassis components.
The torsional stiffness of the front is further increased by unique links connecting the individual spring strut towers with one another and with the nose of the vehicle and the bulkhead. Vertical braces connect the stiffening elements of the engine compartment to the front axle subframe, whose supporting base has been enlarged by the addition of an attachment point at the base of the A-pillars. The M-specific aluminum front axle subframe is given extra rigidity by a single-piece aluminum shear panel with integral sill braces. The center and rear sections of the body incorporate model-specific C-pillar reinforcements and luggage compartment stiffening elements, together with a three-piece rear axle shear panel and a rear axle subframe with a rigid connection to the body.
The suspension on the new BMW M2 has M-specific kinematic and elastokinematic properties, which combine with the large castor and kingpin angles and the lowered roll center to produce both dynamic handling and carefully calibrated comfort-focused attributes. The M-specific version of the double-joint spring strut front axle comprises aluminum wishbones with ball joints, an aluminum torque arm with newly developed mounting, a forged swivel bearing with a unique spring strut clamp, and lightweight wheel bearings with very high camber stability. The five-link rear axle with M-specific upgrades provides the ideal basis for direct, high-precision response in highly dynamic driving situations with its wide track and rigid mounting.
M Servotronic steering and Adaptive M Suspension as standard.
The M Servotronic steering facilitates accurate turn-in when powering through bends on the one hand and effortless parking and maneuvering on the other. It does so by combining the benefits of speed-sensitive power assistance and a variable steering ratio. There is a choice of two settings for steering response in the M Setup menu. Comfort mode combines a light steering feel with precise feedback. And in the Sport setting the steering becomes much more communicative while also increasing steering effort – for maximum precision when exploring the outer reaches of the car’s dynamic abilities.
The standard Adaptive M Suspension features electronically controlled dampers designed to maximize road contact and traction in all driving situations. The dampers are controlled with the help of sensors that constantly monitor body movements, the condition of the road, and steering adjustments. Electromagnetically controlled valves generate fully variable damping forces for each individual wheel, as required and with split-second speed. The basic damper characteristics can be altered as desired by selecting one of the three settings in the M Setup menu.
Integrated braking system with two settings for pedal feel; M light-alloy wheels measuring 19 inches at the front and 20 inches at the rear.
The M Compound brakes on the new BMW M2 – six-piston, fixed-caliper brakes with 15-inch discs at the front, and single-piston, floating-caliper brakes with 14.6-inch discs at the rear – deliver outstanding stopping power. The calipers are painted in Blue metallic as standard, with a Red finish available as an option.
The integrated braking system erases speed with great precision. This system brings together the brake activation, brake booster, and braking control functions within a compact module. The required brake pressure is triggered quickly and precisely using an electric actuator. Here, the integrated braking system is fitted in an M-specific version that offers the driver two pedal feel settings, allowing them to choose between more comfort-oriented or very direct execution of brake pedal inputs in the M Setup menu.
New to the BMW M2 are M light-alloy wheels with a larger diameter at the rear axle than at the front. This results in more effective transmission of lateral control forces at the driven wheels, making it possible to extract even more from the M2’s dynamic handling potential. The new BMW M2 comes with 19-inch light-alloy wheels at the front and 20-inch wheels at the rear fitted with tires measuring 275/35 ZR19 and 285/30 ZR20 at the front and rear respectively.
M Drive Professional with M Traction Control also fitted as standard.
The inclusion of the integrated braking system enables the DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) system to act with even greater precision. Its range of functions includes M Dynamic Mode, which allows extra wheel slip to enhance an already sporty driving experience. The wheel slip limitation function has been integrated into the engine management on the new BMW M2. This eliminates the long signal paths to the DSC control unit, meaning that the corrective inputs are applied up to ten times faster than in conventional systems and with exceptional precision. Because the near-actuator wheel slip limitation function manages any loss of traction, especially when accelerating hard or taking corners at speed, the DSC system has to intervene far less frequently to maintain composed and assured handling with selective applications of the brakes at individual wheels.
The M Traction Control system, part of the standard M Drive Professional, allows drivers to specify one of 10 stages of DSC intervention. During outings on the track, drivers can carefully reduce the extent of control system intervention in order to configure a setup for controlled drifts that is precisely tailored to both track surface conditions and their personal preferences.
Additional standard equipment and a focused menu of options.
When it comes to functionality, ergonomics, and comfort, the standard equipment features in the new BMW M2 follow the lead of its powertrain and chassis technology by placing the emphasis squarely on focused driving pleasure. The M2’s cockpit, with its driver-centric design, features M-specific displays, controls, and configurations, as well as the advanced BMW Curved Display. A focused selection of options is available for enhancing driving comfort or adding visual flourishes to both the exterior and interior, allowing owners to personalize their new BMW M2 in just the way they want.
Redesigned M Sport seats and M Carbon bucket seats.
The 2023 M2 features newly designed M Sport seats with more pronounced side bolsters. They are upholstered in Vernasca leather with perforated surfaces and can be ordered in either Black or Cognac. Their integral head restraints feature an illuminated M logo. The M Sport seats likewise come with electrical adjustment, including for the height of the head restraints.
Optional for the first time on the M2 are the track-ready M Carbon bucket seat – part of the optional Carbon Package. Fully electric and heated, they feature integral head restraints and illuminated M2 badges just above the backrest. The use of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) in the structural elements of the seat bottom and backrest together with the cut-outs in the side bolsters and below the head restraints saves about 24 pounds over the standard M Sport seats.
Customers wishing to inject more sporting style into the cabin of the new BMW M2 can opt for M interior trim in Aluminum Rhombicle anthracite in place of the standard Black high-gloss. If the optional Carbon Fiber trim is specified, the shift paddles (on automatic transmission-equipped vehicles) and trim on the M leather steering wheel will be finished in carbon fiber along with the trim on the dashboard and center console.
There are two roof variants for the new BMW M2: an electrically operated glass slide/tilt moonroof offering a glass surface now larger by nearly 20 percent compared with the outgoing model is standard equipment. A weight-reducing M Carbon roof panel is optional and deletes the moonroof.
Choosing the optional Shadowline Package adds the M Shadowline lights and finishes the tips of the tailpipes in black. Also available is the Carbon Package, which bundles the aforementioned M Carbon roof, M Carbon bucket seats in Black Full Merino leather with striking contour lines finished in the BMW M tricolors around the backrests and headrests of the front seats, and carbon fiber interior trim.
Driver assistance systems for optimized comfort and safety.
A selection of advanced driver assistance systems provide comfort over long journeys and safety in unclear situations on the road. The new BMW M2 is equipped as standard with Park Distance Control with sensors at the front and rear, Dynamic Cruise Control, Front Collision Warning with brake intervention, and Lane Departure Warning.
The optional Active Cruise Control system with Stop & Go function (optional on vehicles equipment with the M Steptronic transmission only) maintains the chosen cruising speed while also automatically keeping a safe distance from vehicles travelling ahead, with a choice of four proximity settings.
Setup button for individual configuration of powertrain and chassis.
A key feature of the M-specific control/operation concept is the Setup button in the center console’s control panel, which provides direct access to the settings options for the engine, chassis, steering, braking system and 10-stage M Traction Control. On models fitted with the manual transmission, the Gear Shift Assistant can also be activated and deactivated from the M Setup menu.
Two individually configured setup variants can be stored permanently, together with the preferred settings for the engine note, the DSC system, the Automatic Start/Stop function and the shift characteristics of the eight-speed M Steptronic transmission, if specified. The overall vehicle configuration can then be called up at any time by pressing one of the two M buttons on the steering wheel.
M Mode button: unadulterated performance at the push of a button.
Also located in the center console’s control panel is the M Mode button, which opens the door to a performance experience perfectly tailored to each driver’s preferences. SPORT mode scales back the range of driver assistance system functions to a minimum. As the new BMW M2 is fitted with M Drive Professional as standard, drivers are also able to select TRACK mode. Designed purely for driving on race circuits, TRACK mode fully deactivates the assistance systems.
SPORT and TRACK modes both reduce the content shown in the information display and Head-Up Display to the information relevant to sporty driving. Various readouts can be called up on the left of the information display, including boost pressure and coolant temperature, tire pressure and tire temperature, or longitudinal and lateral acceleration.
Added fun on the track: M Laptimer, M Drift Analyzer.
As well as M Traction Control and TRACK mode, M Drive Professional also includes the M Laptimer and M Drift Analyzer functions. The M Laptimer records both the current lap time and the time difference compared with the fastest lap around the circuit during the current session.
The M Drift Analyzer helps the driver to sharpen their high-speed cornering skills using deliberate oversteer and precise counter-steering, recording the duration, distance and angle of the driver’s latest drift.
A forward-thinking user interface emphasizing touch and voice control.
The new BMW M2 also treats drivers and passengers to the latest-generation BMW user interface in the form of the standard BMW Live Cockpit Plus. Based on BMW Operating System 8 and featuring new-generation software with powerful connectivity and data processing, it takes the interaction between the driver and vehicle into the digital future.
The new BMW iDrive system offers many more ways for drivers to enjoy easy, intuitive, multimodal control of vehicle, navigation, infotainment and communication functions, and digital services. The BMW Curved Display and the continually expanding capabilities of the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant mean the system has been deliberately geared towards interaction using natural language and touch control. M-specific display content gives added impact to the design of the new BMW M2 cockpit with its emphasis on performance and focused driving pleasure.
BMW Curved Display with M content.
The standard BMW Curved Display in the new M2 cockpit is angled towards the driver, making the intuitive touch control more straightforward. It is formed by a 12.3-inch information display and a 14.9-inch control display.
The information display’s newly designed graphical layout and the M style content contribute to a focused, performance-led driving experience. The vehicle speed is shown on the left of the display both as a figure and as a digital scale, along with information such as the fuel gauge and the status of the driver assistance systems. The right-hand section indicates engine speed, current gear, the transmission’s Drivelogic setting, oil temperature and the setup selected with the M button on the steering wheel. The familiar M Shift Lights appear at the top of the information display, while an indicator bar along the lower edge notifies the driver of the status of the driving stability systems and traction control.
The control display provides a clear overview of the various menu options in the form of widgets on the home screen, which can be arranged to suit personal preferences. A number of special widgets are also available in the new BMW M2 containing information on the current vehicle setup, as well as tire pressure and temperature.
BMW Maps navigation system as standard, M-specific Head-Up Display as an option.
The cloud-based BMW Maps navigation system forms part of the standard BMW Live Cockpit Plus. The latest generation of this navigation system enables fast route calculation based on precise real-time traffic data transmitted at short intervals. The optional BMW Live Cockpit Professional adds the BMW Head-Up Display with M specific content.
BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant with new skills.
The control/operation system in the new BMW M2 also includes the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant. BMW Operating System 8 unlocks additional skills for this digital assistant. Naturally formulated spoken instructions can now be used to adjust the air conditioning, for instance, or open and close the windows. Driver assistance system functions can also be controlled via voice command in the new BMW M2.
Optimum connectivity with 5G and Personal eSIM.
If the customer selects the optional Personal eSIM, both it and the Vehicle SIM can be active simultaneously thanks to the DSDA (Dual SIM Dual Active) capability. The Personal eSIM allows the customer to use the communications and connectivity functions covered by their mobile contract from their vehicle with ease. The new BMW M2 is essentially turned into another device in the customer’s digital ecosystem. Mobile reception for both data and phone calls is significantly improved by the vehicle’s own 5G antenna system. Up to ten devices can access the internet at any one time via the mobile hotspot.
The Personal eSIM is linked to the customer’s BMW ID rather than their car – meaning it can be transferred to other BMW vehicles with Personal eSIM functionality. If the customer signs into another BMW with their BMW ID, the Personal eSIM will be configured automatically and will then be available immediately.
Major Standard Equipment.
- Manual transmission
- 19”/20” M Light Alloy Jet Black Double-Spoke 930M wheels with mixed tires
- Vernasca Leather upholstery
- Heated M Sport seats
- BMW Curved Display with iDrive 8 and BMW Maps
- M Drive Professional
- Illuminated M Trim
Optional Equipment Packages.
- Shadowline Package
- M Shadowline Lights
- Exhaust tips in black
- Carbon Package
- M Carbon roof
- M Carbon bucket seats in Black Full Merino Leather with M Color Highlight
- Carbon fiber trim
- Lighting Package
- Adaptive Full LED headlights
- Automatic High Beams
- Remote engine start
- 8-speed Sport Automatic transmission with Drivelogic
- M Compound brakes with red calipers
- Active Cruise Control
- Personal eSIM 5G
- Live Cockpit Professional including Head-Up Display
- M Driver’s Package
- M Carbon roof
- Carbon fiber trim
- Parking Assistant
- Wireless Device Charging
- 19”/20” M Light Alloy Bi-Color Double-Spoke 930M Wheels with mixed tires
- Heated Steering Wheel
- Alpine White
- Zandvoort Blue
- Black Sapphire metallic
- Toronto Red metallic
- Brooklyn Grey metallic
- Black Vernasca Leather with M Color Stitching
- Black Vernasca Leather with Blue Contrast Stitching
- Cognac Vernasca Leather with Contrast Stitching
- Black Full Merino Leather with M Color Highlight
- Black High Gloss
- Aluminum Rhombicle Anthracite
- Carbon Fiber
The 2023 BMW M2 is scheduled to go on sale in the U.S. in April 2023, with a starting price of $63,195. Yes, that’s a tad more expensive than the outgoing M2, but it’s also $12,500 less than a base 2023 BMW M4. So if you look at it like that, the new M2 is a pretty good deal!