The new BMW M2 has been revealed in all its glory with more power than its predecessor, a bigger body than the coupe it is based on, and a daring new design.
The halo model of the new 2 Series range will be available in South Africa from the second quarter of 2023, with local pricing expected to be announced closer to the date. As with its siblings, it will be produced at the BMW Group San Luis Potosi plant in Mexico.
The second-generation BMW M2 makes use of powertrain and chassis technologies adapted from the M3 and M4 and therefore boasts a bigger footprint than the rest of the 2 Series line-up at 4,580mm in length, 1,887mm in width, and 1,403mm in height.
Under the bonnet lies a 3.0-litre, in-line six, twin-turbo engine generating a maximum of 338kW and 550Nm – a 66kW improvement upon the old M2. Power is controlled by the rear wheels via an eight-speed M Steptronic gearbox as standard which supplies “sporty gear shifts, direct connection to the engine, and ability to execute multiple downshifts to the lowest available gear forming the ideal basis for beguiling, instantaneous acceleration”, said BMW.
As an option, certain markets will also have a six-speed manual transmission to choose from with a Gear Shift Assistant that uses “engagement speed control to ensure slip-free operation when downshifting under braking into corners”, BMW added. With the upgraded setup, the M2 accelerates from rest to 100km/h in 4.1 seconds in automatic guise and 4.3 seconds in manual, continuing on to 200km/h in 13.5 seconds and 14.3 seconds, respectively. As usual, top speed is limited to 250km/h, but by specifying the optional M Driver’s Package, this can be lifted to 285km/h.
Enhancing the sporty driving experience is the standard addition of the M Traction Control function with 10 stages of grip adjustment, allowing the driver to explore the M2’s limits along with the Active M Differential that can generate a locking effect of up to 100 percent for better control when accelerating out of corners. Also equipped is an M-specific exhaust system with electrically-controlled flaps generating an aggressive sound and M Compound brakes offering considerable stopping power.
Form follows function in the new M2’s design, and in the spirit of improved cooling and aerodynamics, it gets a frameless kidney grille featuring horizontal bars as well as a three-section lower air intake with almost rectangular contours. Continuing the athletic look around the sides are flared sills and wheel arches while the back sees a sleek boot-lip spoiler, vertically arranged reflectors and a rear apron diffuser insert accommodating two pairs of exhaust tailpipes.
It also wears 19-inch light-alloy wheels at the front and 20-inch at the rear, and the option exists to wrap them in track tyres, too. For additional cosmetic flair, customers have the choice of five exterior finishes, including solid Zandvoort Blue and metallic Toronto Red, which are exclusive to the smallest M car, as well as an M Carbon roof that reduces vehicle weight by around 6kg, can be had. The cabin then sees the new BMW Curved Display featuring a 14.9-inch driver’s cluster and 12.3-inch infotainment screen, the system bringing M-specific abilities such as shift lights, vehicle setup, tyre condition monitoring, the M Drift Analyser, and the M Laptimer.
Moreover, the new M2 gets model-specific sport seats covered in Sensatec/Alcantara, three-zone climate control, ambient lighting, integrated navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, front collision warnings, speed limit info with a no-overtaking indicator, lane departure warnings, and parking sensors. On the optional extras list for the cabin are a heads-up display, M Sport seats with perforated Vernasca leather/Sensatec upholstery, M Carbon buckets that save 10.8kg, carbon interior trims, active cruise control, the parking assistance package, and the M Race Track package.