Test: BMW M2, the end of an era (2023)

Test: BMW M2, the end of an era (2023)

Forget the e46 M3, the first generation M2 will most likely go down in history as the best M car ever made. Or at least as the best-selling BMW M ever. 60,000 units of the first generation found their way to enthusiasts around the world. Which is no surprise that BMW is launching the second generation M2.


What may be surprising is that the second generation plays with the original recipe. Well, the M2 gen2 is still a two-door coupe with rear-wheel drive, but the specs are surprisingly different. It is 18 cm long, 4.4 cm wide and weighs 230 kg. This is more of an M4 that has been slightly hot-washed, rather than the old compact M2.

Visually, the new M2 is completely different from its M4 sibling. While the latter still stands beautifully (except for those two nose holes in the front), the new M2 has become a pit bull. “Beautiful” is therefore a word we would not use around this second generation.

Internal affairs

Totally unfortunate. Because on the inside, this new M2 takes a serious step. The previous generation performed well, but sometimes came a little “cheap”. This second generation gets a beautiful curved display, stylish accents on the door panels and – if you want – attractive bucket seats.

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In addition, this M2 has more edge than, say, Porsche Cayman or Alpine A110. Then of course we are talking about the back seat – which is more usable than ever due to the increased dimensions of the car – and the trunk of 390 liters. It may not sound important for a car like this, but it ensures that this M2 is a sports car of every day. Even more than its competitors.


It is no coincidence that this second generation follows in the footsteps of the big brother M4. Because both people share almost all the features below. Yes, this M2 rides on an M4 chassis and also uses the same 3-liter inline-six with twin turbos.

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This allows the M2 to provide a significant boost in power. As a result, the entry-level M now sends an impressive 460 hp and 550 Nm of torque to the rear wheels. Good for a sprint to 100 km/h in 4.3 seconds and a limited top speed of 250 km/h. The fun doesn’t end there, because the controls, adjustable brakes, customizable traction control (in 10 stages) and calibratable throttle response also make the switch from the M4.

Driving behavior

Although every M2 sees the light of day with an 8-speed automatic transmission, you can get a six-speed manual gearbox for less than 500 euros. That’s also the test sample we chose. It’s a matter of getting the ultimate driving sensation. Is a manual gearbox better than an automatic? Maybe not… but more fun!

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And fun, that’s what this M2 can use. Because by sharing its chassis with the M4, this has become an even worse machine. It offers a lot more grip in the corners, a lot more power when you accelerate out of the corner and better suspension when things can get a little slower. The former gangster seems to be a runner who wants to beat lap times on the circuit. In the right hands, you can easily leave the M4 behind you. Most likely even a Porsche 911.


So M2 is mature. In every view. Also the price. Because for 76,140 euros you cannot call this a business. BMW even charges a hefty 14,745 euros for the Race Track Pack. Do you need that carbon fiber roof, bucket seats and an increased top speed of 175 mph from that package? Probably not. But secretly you want to. It is therefore unlikely that the M2s will be driving at a price of around 100,000 euros.

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Although we may be approaching the M2 the wrong way. Because if you see this as an alternative to the M4, then this M2 suddenly becomes very interesting. So the best M4 right now might be this M2.


The second generation M2 has been the best car in all areas. Although he does lose some of his wild hair as a result. If this is the end of a chapter at BMW, we look forward to the next!

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