New 460PS BMW M2 is the last of its kind

11th October 2022
Ethan Jupp

The new BMW M2 has been revealed, and it’s a highly significant car for BMW M. Why? It represents a number of lasts for the fastest letter in the alphabet. Last non-electrified M car. Last M car with a manual transmission. This really is a swansong for M cars as we’ve come to love them over the past 50 years.


Quite the role to fulfil, so what does the new M2 bring to the table? The numbers are suitably meaty, with a version of the M4’s S58 twin-turbo straight-six coming in with over 460PS (338kW) on tap. That makes it more than 10PS up on the outgoing hardcore M2 CS, around 90PS up on the original M2 from 2016 and around 120PS up on the 1M Coupe that started it all. Torque is 550Nm (406lb ft), compared to the old 1M’s 500Nm (369lb ft). Power goes to the rear wheels via either an eight-speed automatic transmission – in place of the old dual-clutch – or a six-speed manual, that latter being refined to be more precise for this new M2. Performance numbers are 0-62mph in 4.1 seconds, on the way to a standard 155mph top speed.

Of course, where the old 1M borrowed a rear axle from the BMW M3, this latest M2 uses the M4’s entire platform. Everything will be configurable, from brake feel, to throttle response, to damping, to the diff and much more. M Drive Professional joins M Traction Control and Track mode, with the M Laptimer and M Drift analyser functions joining from the M4. The active M diff, suspension and steering come directly from the M4 too, with even the M2’s track widths measuring as identical to the M3 and M4. That makes it 49mm wider than the 2 Series overall, informing the cut of those engorged arches. Compared to the old M2, the new car is larger in all directions bar height, where it loses 11mm. Tyres are 275 sections up front and 285 at the rear, bumping compared to the old car and likely offering prodigious traction.


That’s the general worry about the new M2 compared to the old car. Where its predecessors were relatively unsophisticated and as such, had something of a juvenile, fun-following-function spirit about them, the new car runs the risk of being a smidge too serious. That said, it’s tough to worry about how fun near-M4 power connected to a manual gearbox and the rear wheels, with less weight and size might not be. It’s not like the M Drift Analyser sounds too boring.

Speaking of serious, what do we think of the looks? It’s certainly more blunt than the more stylised car it replaces, while the proportions are more challenging. The nose could have come from Hartge, or Schnitzer, it’s so no-nonsense and racey looking. To our eyes, the new 2 Series isn’t as pretty as the old one and the same goes for the M2, though the big arches, sculpted tail, pinched bootlid and bully stance help it a fair amount.


On the inside, it’s big change and one area where the new M2 is bang up-to-date with all current BMWs, petrol, hybrid, all-electric or otherwise. In place of the old individual screens is a big curved glass slab, with the 12.3-inch driver and 14.9-inch infotainment screens integrated into it. A strange thing to see, not a foot away from a waggly gearstick. Throughout the cabin, the M colours of dark blue, light blue and red are very much on display, on the seats and in trim highlights.

Speaking of the seats, those M Carbon seats, which drop 11kg, come as a part of the M Race Package, which brings track tyres and a 177mph top speed to boot. That’ll add a bit to the standard £61,495 price, which sounds good when you consider it’s a near £20k saving compared to an M3, though it’s right on the money compared to the Audi RS3 and Mercedes-AMG A45. That said, it is around £7,000 shy of the Porsche 718 Cayman GTS 4.0 and £20k shy of the Cayman GT4. Decisions, decisions…

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