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The BMW M2 is back with more power and rear-wheel drive. Image by BMW.

The BMW M2 is back with more power and rear-wheel drive
There’s more power, but what else is new with the new M2?
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What's all this about?

As if you couldn’t tell by the kidney grille and the flared wheel arches, this is the new BMW M2, due to arrive in the UK from the middle of next year. It remains rear-drive only for now, but with 459hp on tap it’s some 90hp more powerful than the old equivalent model M2, putting it very close to its larger sibling, the BMW M4.

Smaller car means smaller engine, right?

No, not at all. Under the bonnet is pretty much the same twin-turbo 3.0-litre straight-six engine as the M3 and M4 (albeit with 20 fewer horses), and remember the M2 is considerably lighter than both at just over 1,700kg. As such, when fitted with the eight-speed Steptronic transmission, it can sprint from 0-62mph in 4.1 seconds, although the six-speed manual extends that to 4.3 seconds.

Did weight loss play a big part in creating the M2?

Not to a huge extent, but that’s not to downplay a couple of the big-ticket lightweight features. A carbon-fibre roof lowers the centre of gravity, while the optional carbon bucket seats can be specified in place of the standard M Sport seats, using carbon fibre and big cut outs to save 10.8kg. Those are really designed with track-use in mind.

Track use, you say?

The M2 is definitely designed to handle at least a couple of track days a year. Openings in the front apron are designed to channel air to cool the brakes during and after heavy track use; the oil cooling system is designed to prevent starvation under sharp braking or acceleration; the M Mode button allows drivers to tone down the level of driver assistance features; the traction control system lets drivers choose the level of rear-wheel slippage they’d like ranging from none at all to very smoky indeed. Then there are the lap timing and drift analysis functions accessed through the car’s infotainment screen.

How big is that screen?

It’s BMW’s Curved Display, which means that there’s a pair of screens (the 12.3-inch instrument cluster and the 14.9-inch infotainment display) melded into one slightly curved surface that looks bang-up-to-date.

It looks quite different to the basic 220i, doesn't it?

As expected, yes. The wheel arches are flared, there’s that carbon-fibre roof, the boot spoiler’s a little bigger, and either side of the new rear diffuser is a pair of twin tailpipes. The whole car sits on a set of two-tone alloy wheels which are different in size front and rear — 19-inch at the front and 20-inch at the back.

Any other variants on the way?

If the last M2 is anything to go by, there may be faster, more track-focused versions of the M2 coming down the line, such as another M2 Competition, but these have not been confirmed.

When's it arriving and how much will it cost?

The new M2 is due to arrive in the UK from next May with prices starting from £61,495.

David Mullen - 12 Oct 2022

Earlier articles featuring 2023 BMW M2

2022-07-16: First drive: 2023 BMW M2 Prototype

2023 BMW M2 Coupe. Image by BMW.2023 BMW M2 Coupe. Image by BMW.2023 BMW M2 Coupe. Image by BMW.2023 BMW M2 Coupe. Image by BMW.2023 BMW M2 Coupe. Image by BMW.

2023 BMW M2 Coupe. Image by BMW.2023 BMW M2 Coupe. Image by BMW.2023 BMW M2 Coupe. Image by BMW.2023 BMW M2 Coupe. Image by BMW.2023 BMW M2 Coupe. Image by BMW.    - BMW road tests
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