BMW’s new M2 a splendid birdie to the woke new car world

Car purists have something really good to cheer about for once. Meet BMW’s six-speed manual rear-wheel-drive-only biturbo straight-six M2.

The spiritual great-great grandson of the epic 2002 ti, this one is bound to be just as significant and probably even more collectable in the long run.


It’s Not On Top of M2 That Matters, its Inside

This second generation M2 will also bring a truckload of enhancements over its predecessor when it arrives in 2023. Not everyone will approve of the look. But then it’s a BMW and ugly M cars are the norm, no? It’s not what’s on top that matters, it’s inside.

That said, the new M2 does not suffer the M3 and M4’s toothless bunny grin. This second-generation car gets a far smaller and squared-off version of BMW’s traditional kidney grille. To keep the purist happy, perhaps?

Broader across the beam, the boxier new M2 is more muscular too. Those single LED headlamps supposedly hark back to the aforementioned 2002. Funky taillights and sharply creased, squared off lines above quad exhaust tips at the rear are… well, quite unique!


New Gets a Detuned M3 Biturbo STRAIGHT 6

Diving under the skin then, while it remains based on the bigger and better new two-door BMW 2-series, the mighty new M2 shares far more with its M3 and M4 big brothers than before. Which means it should prove pretty special to drive.

The S58 V6 is a detuned 338 kW 550 Nm version of the M3 and M4 lump. Still, that’s 36 kW horses up on the outgoing M2 Competition. The rear-drive only M2 comes standard with a six-speed stick shifter. A spoilsport BMW 8-speed torque converter autobox is optional.

10 centimetres longer, 3.3 cm wider and half a centimetre shorter than the old car, M2 also rides on a 5 cm longer wheelbase. Track is by 3.8 cm wider up front and 0.5 cm broader to match the M4 at the rear. Alas, the porky M2 is also about 115 kg heavier than the old M2.


Stiffer M2 Chassis, Adaptive M Suspension

The stiffer chassis benefits increased front end structural rigidity and reinforced mid and rear sections. Adaptive-damped M suspension and a tight ratio electric steering are backed by a torque-vectoring rear differential.

Add 10-way adjustable traction-control and a so-called M Drift Analyzer. And no, there will not be an xDrive all-wheel-drive option.

New electrified M braking adds adjustable pedal feel. 6-pot fixed front callipers clamp 380 mm diameter front rotors with four-pot floating rears clamping 365 mm discs. M2 gets staggered 275 section 19-inch front wheels in Michelin Pilot Sports, and 285 20s at the back.

Driver assistance includes forward-collision warning with automated emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning, and parking sensors front and rear. The automatic also has a stop-and-go adaptive cruise option.


M2 Dill Do Zero to 100 in 3.9 Seconds

BMW claims that the M2 automatic will rush to 100 km/h in 3.9 seconds, while the manual will do it in 4.1 seconds. Top speed is once again limited to 250 km/h. But wait – the M Driver’s package ups that to 285 km/h. Or 5 km/h faster than before.

Step inside and M2’s dash boasts a giant digital curved screen. 12.3-inch dials sit behind the chunky multifunction steering wheel. The central 14.9-inch iDrive 8 infotainment gets enhanced voice-recognition, cloud navigation, and a 5G Wi-Fi. Heads-up is now optional.

More bolstered power and heated front seats in black or Cognac hide get illuminated M logos in the headrests. Lightweight M Carbon chairs with all the same trinkets come as part of the optional Carbon Fibre package to save about 10 kg.

2023 BMW M2

Yours By Mid-2023

M2 will come in Alpine White, Black Sapphire, Brooklyn Grey, Toronto Red, or an exclusive Zandvoort Blue. A lightweight carbon-fibre roof can be had in place of the larger opening standard sunroof. That also drops the car’s centre of gravity. Expect new M2 in SA mid-2023.

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