The 2023 BMW M2 has been officially unveiled, and by all accounts, it looks like it really wants to satisfy vintage petrolheads looking for not only uncompromising performance, but engaging handling as well. The G87 M2 is certainly a far cry from the slimmer M models of days gone by, and that becomes even more apparent when you opt for the Performance Parts option. This makes the new pocket rocket BMW M2 the closest thing to a GT4 road racing car you can buy. In many ways, the 2023 M2 is a modern-day E30, and it will likely be BMW’s last driver-focused model.


Small package, big power

The front end of the 2023 BMW M2 with M Performance parts

One of the best things about the BMW M2 is that even as a 2023 model, the car is still relatively compact. However, the second generation M2 has grown in most areas compared to its predecessor, the F87. The car is 180.3 inches (4,580 mm) long, compared to 175.6 inches (4,461 mm) of the previous model. In terms of width, the 2023 model boasts 74.3 inches (1,887 mm) versus the old model’s 73.0 inches (1,854 mm). In terms of height, the G87 measures 55.24 inches (1,403 mm) versus the F97’s 55.51 inches (1,410 mm), and the wheelbase has grown from 106.0 inches (2,693 mm) to 108.2 inches (2,747 mm). One of the negative aspects of the new M2 is weight, coming in at 3,748 pounds (1,700 kg) versus the predecessor’s 3,417 pounds (1,550 kg).

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Underpinning the G87 M2 is the S58, a 3.0-liter, twin-turbo, inline-six engine that produces 460 horsepower (343 kilowatts) at 6,250 rpm and 405 lb-ft (550 Nm) at 2,650-5,870 rpm. a minute.. Power goes exclusively to the rear axle through a six-speed manual. For those of you who are lazy or just aiming for a better lap time, an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission is also available. Depending on which variant you choose, 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) takes between 3.9 and 4.1 seconds, making it 0.1 second faster than the outgoing M2 Competition , and 0.1 seconds slower than the F87 M2 CS.

It should be noted that a more powerful version is in development, probably the M2 Competition. It’s rumored to have 483 horsepower (355 kilowatts) from the same S58 inline-six engine. That said, knowing how BMW rates its power figures, we wouldn’t be surprised if dyno tests show that this upcoming model will have all 510 horsepower (380 kilowatts) from the M3/M4 Competition models.

The most motorsport-inspired BMW M2

The rear of the 2023 BMW M2 with M Performance parts

With each new generation of the M3 (and all other models) getting bigger and heavier, it was the first-generation BMW M2 that was considered the true spiritual successor to the BMW M3 E30. The G87 generation continues to follow in the footsteps of the F87, although there was never an M2 a special homologation such as the E30 M3, which became the definition of a racing car for the road.

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The real difference between the classic M3 and M2 models is that the latter were never thin. While the E30 M3 had its distinctive features, especially in the rear window, the M2 models, as well as the M135i and 1M before them, were never what you could call subtle. The M2 G87 is certainly no exception, especially when equipped with optional M Performance parts that add radical ground effects and a tall carbon fiber rear wing. All this leads to the fact that the 2023 BMW M2 is the most radical-looking road version of the car. More importantly, the extra parts improve downforce and the M Performance exhaust improves the sound.

The BMW M2 Performance parts package may be too much

Profile of the 2023 BMW M2 with M Performance parts

While no one disputes the performance benefits that come with the extra downforce, the M2 Performance parts package may have detracted from what is otherwise a pleasing design and is a nice distraction from the also-controversial large grille. There’s a certain beauty to the functional aesthetic, but the new M2 looks too busy with all the added carbon fiber. Honestly, the thing looks like it crashed into a LEGO store. At least BMW can give you something else to hate instead of the latest grille design.

The last non-BEV BMW with a manual

The 2023 BMW M2 looks quite sleek, unlike the front and rear

In the coming years, BMW will make big changes to its lineup. Among them is the all-electric successor to the BMW 8 Series combining some BMW models into a single line. With the Bavarian automaker at a turning point, we can see how much the latest model of its kind needs to make a strong impression, both in terms of performance and aesthetics. The BMW M2 certainly fits the bill, as it will be the last model without any form of electrification and a six-speed manual gearbox. The design’s function-over-form approach is also a subtle, if not overt, throwback to the special certification that was the E30 M3.