The last-generation BMW M2 was M’s best-selling car. ever, really. BMW sold more than 60,000 units in just seven years, demonstrating the enthusiast public’s ongoing preference for compact, powerful performance vehicles.
For all you BMW chassis code junkies, that makes the new one—internally known as G87—a crucial vehicle for the company’s performance section. With the M3 moving into M5 levels of performance and size, it’s up to the 2023 M2 to fill the gap as the everyman M car. It must be able to lap a racecourse, but it must also be effective as a daily driver. Most importantly, it must inspire joy as BMW’s smallest M vehicle—something the M3 and M4 fail to do.
The new M2, which is based on the modified 2-series coupe made in Mexico, is still a compact car with two confined back seats, although its overall length and wheelbase have increased by 2.1 and 4.1 inches, respectively, to 108.1 and 180.3 inches. Moreover, it has a slightly shorter stature now but a beam that is 1.3 inches bigger, as well as wider front and rear tracks that now match the M4’s.
2023 BMW M2
BMW practically incorporated the M4’s other key components for the M2, including the 3.0-liter inline-six twin-turbo engine. Although the estimated curb weight of the new vehicle has increased significantly to roughly 3800 pounds, the BMW S58 mill still manages to produce a strong 453 horsepower in this configuration. This is 48 more horsepower than the S55 inline-six engine that powered the last M2 Competition.
While a six-speed manual transmission is still the default, a free option is an eight-speed automatic transmission from ZF that replaces the prior seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. The self-shifting M2 should return an estimated 3.6-second time at 60 mph with the aid of launch control, similar to the last automatic M2 CS we tested. It will probably take a few tenths of a second to move the accurate but rather rubbery shifter of the manual transmission through its gates, but it continues to be one of BMW’s most effective antidotes to boredom when driving.
The M4’s rear axle with its electronically controlled limited-slip differential is housed in the reinforced body shell of the M2, as well as that car’s suspension links, adaptive dampers, and brakes. Minor adjustments, such as springs that are softer in the back and somewhat firmer in the front, help temper the M2’s willingness to rotate on a wheelbase that’s 4.4 inches shorter than big brother’s. The 19-inch front and 20-inch rear Michelin Pilot Sport 4S summer tires for the M4 remain, though.
The 2023 BMW M2 is the entry-level model for the M brand, with prices starting at $63,195, and as such, it won’t offer carbon-ceramic brakes. There will be track-oriented Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires available, however, and a lighter carbon-fiber roof can also be optioned. The business-casual inside is dominated by BMW’s Curved Display, which includes many of the climatic controls that formerly had distinct buttons and switches.
2023 BMW M2
The M2’s numerous driving settings can initially be overwhelming but know that the dominant Sport and Track modes offer a streamlined gauge display that is simpler to read while driving quickly. The M2’s ride is still stiff and has a limited range of motion, but it has enough compliance to make it not feel harsh on softer roads, so pair the sportiest engine programming with the softest suspension option.
The feistiness of this Bavarian muscle coupe is now more bearable to live with thanks to improvements in overall refinement and stability that increase driver confidence. The new M2 offers powerful relief, successfully directing the brain’s pleasure and fine motor control-related regions. This is strong medicine for the driver’s soul.
It is not the little and unrefined coupe that the 2 Series and 1 Series models before it were. But, the driving position is excellent, the engine is ravenous, and the handling is good, making it the most authentically built M car on the market right now.
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