2023 BMW M2: Inline Six, 453 Horsepower, Manual Transmission


October 12th, 2022 11:20 AM

As the industry rockets towards a future eventually denuded of internal combustion, it’s encouraging to know at least some things retain a few traditional enthusiast roots. Witness the new 2023 BMW M2, packing an inline six-cylinder engine and three pedals.

The dimensions of an M2 arguably make the model a spiritual successor to the tremendous M3s of the ‘80s and ‘90s, not to mention a variation on the theme which was the original 2002. Its 108.1-inch wheelbase, for example, should provide good agility when being driven in anger. Track widths have increased by 1.5 inches (to 63.7) at the front and .16 inches (to 63.2) at the rear, matching the M4, and tires are staggered at 275/35/19 front and 285/30/20 rear. The new M3 is 4.3 inches shorter than today’s M4 but 2.1 inches longer than the old M2, though BMW still touts a near 50/50 weight distribution, which checks in at 3,814 pounds when equipped with a manual transmission. Note that is over 200 lbs more than last year’s car.

Speaking of the manual, it is a six-speed and BMW expects it to be slower to 60 mph than the eight-speed M Steptronic, estimating times of 4.1 seconds and 3.9 clicks respectively. Still, your author will choose the manual every day of the week and twice on Sunday in a car like this for sheer driving enjoyment and engagement with the machine. Yep, dorky gearhead status confirmed.

Those transmissions are lashed to an S58 TwinPower Turbo, making 453 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque. That’s roughly 50 more ponies than the M2 Competition and almost 10 more than the M2 CS. Torque is equal across all three. Given BMW’s model strategy with the last car, it is not unreasonable to suggest there is a near-500 hp M2 in our future. Peak power shows up at higher engine speeds than last year’s whip, with drivers needing to wind things out 1,000 rpm extra (6,250 v 5,230) for all the horses and 300 more (now 2,650). Redline is a shade over seven grand.

Other go-fast features include an Active M rear diff, computer gubbins with a yaffle of traction control settings, and the Adaptive M suspension. Six-piston brakes clamp 15-inch front rotors, two inches more in diameter than the entire wheel on this writer’s first car, with slightly less aggro brakes out back. Snazzy M Carbon buckets seem ripped from the M4, which is fine, while tat such as cognac leather and illuminated badges plus other stuff the B&B does not care about will be available. Typical safety gear like autonomous emergency braking and lane departure warnings are standard across the board. You’ll have noticed the front-end styling changes by now, shown here in Toronto Red.

How much? Expect a base MSRP of $62,200 plus $995 destination and handling, with a global launch in April 2023.

[Images: BMW]

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