It's amazing how the first BMW M2 still looks and feels so fresh, but for 2023 the Munich automaker has launhed its much anticipated successor. After months of drip-feeding and leaks, here is the G87 M2.
At first glance and as expected, the styling cues first seen in the M240i (G42) from 2021 have clearly been further amplified, for better or worse. It's more aggressive, yes, but seems to lack much of the aesthetic finesse and restraint that made the older model such a hit.
The M2 won't be coming from a German assembly line, though, but rather off one in Mexico alongside rest of the 2 Series Coupe range. Underneath that long bonnet we find a 3.0-litre turbocharged inline-6 producing a mighty 460hp and 550Nm of torque, outgunning the F87 by about 90hp.
Drive, as it should, goes exclusively to the rear wheels via an 8-speed automatic transmission (ZF-8HP), but BMW is making a 6-speed manual an optional extra, which at 4.3 seconds is 0.2s slower in the 100km/h sprint. Top speed is 250km/h but can be raised to 285km/h with the M Driver's Package.
The all-new M2 is also special in that it's the M division's final creation to feature a pure combustion powerplant, and fittingly it comes on the year of BMW M's 50th anniversary. Going forward, it's all going to be electrified to some degree, so perhaps this car is worth appreciating despite its....looks.
In fact, the automaker's exterior design has been (and will probably continue to be) a major point of debate among enthusiasts and industry observers alike. Each time the public seems to wince a little at the newest BMW to be unveiled, they seem to double down on their contentious styling direction.
Here the operative word is 'swol' with the bodykit expanding to engulf the M2's widened track with admittedly mixed results. BMW are keen to point out its near perfect 50/50 weight distribution while its 54mm of extra wheelbase means rear seat passengers aren't quite so hemmed in.
The M2's cabin looks much more up to date, of course, adopting the look and feel of cars like the new 4 Series. Stand-out elements include the curved freestanding 12.3-inch instrument cluster and 14.9-inch infotainment display combo, much like the older MBUX systems that Mercedes-Benz has since moved on from starting with the S-Class and C-Class, among other models.
BMW Malaysia has been pretty quick to announce the local arrival of high profile models following their international debuts so perhaps it won't be too long before we see one on our shores.