The 2023 BMW M2 Doesn’t Need A Big Grille To Show Off Its Power And Appeal

The 2023 BMW M2 is proof the brand hasn’t forgotten about enthusiasts.

The German luxury marque has just unveiled the second generation of its smallest performance vehicle. Thanks to its moderately sized grille, more powerful engine and manual transmission, the two-door seems all but certain to send a certain segment of car lovers into a frenzy.

At a glance, the second-generation M2—which is based on the 2-series—doesn’t look radically different from its predecessor. But thanks to a more sculpted body and increased length and width (4.1 inches and 2.1 inches, respectively) the new model is more athletic than ever before. What really caught our eye is the more angular front fascia, in particular the grille. While the M2’s bigger siblings, the M3 and M4, both have giant twin kidney grilles up front, the more compact speed machine’s are smaller and more traditional. Considering the divisive response elicited by the larger grilles, we could easily see this being a draw for some.

Inside, the vehicle looks very similar to the 2-series with three major differences. The first is a massive dual display stretching from the driver’s cockpit to the centre of the dashboard. It features a 12.3-inch gauge cluster and a 14.9-inch touchscreen infotainment system running BMW’s iDrive 8 software. Next up is a set of brand-new M Sport seats up front. Finally, the cabin is covered with special M badging—including illuminated logos on the front headrests—and red and blue accents.

The most attractive aspects of the BMW M2 are what you can’t see, though. Pop the hood and you’ll find a twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre inline-six. It’s the same S58 engine found in the M3 and M4, but it’s been detuned slightly because of the vehicle’s smaller stature. Despite this, it still produces a potent 453 horses (55 more than its predecessor) and 406 ft lbs of twist (the same amount). The M2’s mill comes linked to a standard six-speed manual transmission that sends power to the rear axle. That’s right, a stick shift is the default on the M2, though an eight-speed M Steptronic automatic with DriveLogic is available as an option.

As you might imagine from power numbers like those above, the new BMW M2 has some zip. When equipped with a manual the car can launch from zero-to-60 mph in 4.1 seconds, while the automatic can do the same in 3.9 seconds. Top speed is an electronically limited 155 mph, but if you opt for the M Driver’s Package that number gets a boost up to 177 mph.

The 2023 BMW M2 will go on sale next April. It’ll start at US$63,195 (about RM298,000), which is US$3,300 more than last generation’s top of the line Competition variant, but US$12,000 more than the base price of the latest M4. If you’ve been looking for an M model with a more traditional front end, this just might be the model for you.


Previously published on Robb Report.

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