2023 BMW M2 is the last M car without electrification

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BMW M2 003

The second-generation BMW M2 will use turbocharged straight-six from the M3 and will be the last non-electrified M car.

BMW CEO Frank van Meel has confirmed the new BMW M2 will be the last M car to use pure internal combustion, with either hybrid or full-electrification on the cards for the firm’s performance-focused cars.

Speaking to Germany’s Bimmer Today, van Meel said “We will see increasing electrification in other vehicles, of course in different forms, starting with the 48-volt electrical system and plug-in hybrids to fully electric drives. Seen in this way, the M2 will be the last M with a pure combustion engine drive and also without electrification scope such as a 48-volt on-board network”.

BMW M2 teaser May 22 2

Despite the bold statement, we’re still yet to see a fully-fledged M car with an electrified powertrain. The next-generation M5 will utilise the hybrid powertrain from the upcoming XM SUV, and it’s likely it’ll find its way into other larger M cars such as the X5 M and X6 M. It seems from van Meel’s statement that we can expect to see other M cars take on mild-hybrid 48-volt technology, rather than plug-in hybrid or even full electrification.

As for the new M2, it’s been spied plenty of times ahead of its unveiling but we’ve recently seen it in uncamouflaged form in a darkened studio, confirming previous design details found on test cars.

2023 BMW M2 leak rear

The rear lights look unchanged from the standard 2 Series, but there are some big differences in the bumper with two vertical indents for the rear reflectors (similar to the outgoing M2) and a large cut out at the bottom for a rear diffuser. BMW M’s trademark quad-exit exhaust tips will make a return on the M2 as well. It looks like the launch colour chosen for the M2 is Yas Marina Blue – a hue first seen on the F80 M3.

Last month, BMW revealed an official teaser image of a camouflaged M2 prototype wearing what looks to be some extras from the M Performance catalogue. Firstly, there’s a new rear wing, and secondly, a set of larger wheels which appear to be the forged ‘1000 M’ design currently available as part of BMW’s M Performance parts offering for the M3 and M4. The caption for the post read: “The fine details of driving excellence, waiting to be revealed,” followed by several hashtags including “#MPerformanceParts”.

BMW M2 009

We saw action shots of the new M2 earlier in 2022, in which the car was photographed from all angles at the famous Nurburgring circuit in Germany. As our spy pictures showed, a disguised version of the near production-ready high-performance flagship had been testing at the fearsome 20.7km long circuit.

Due to hit showrooms this year, just in time for BMW’s 50th anniversary of its M division, the new M2 will be based on the recently launched 2 Series Coupe. To reflect its focus on performance, the car gets an aggressive new look.

BMW M2 teaser May 22

At the front, there’s a new bumper with a lower splitter and more vents, while the rear end gets an enormous diffuser complete with BMW M’s trademark quad-exit exhaust tips. The side skirts are also lower and there’s a new ducktail spoiler on the bootlid. There’s a wide stance set off with larger wheels than the M240i, while it’s likely that the new M2 will have even wider wheel arches than its predecessor.

The outgoing BMW M2 remains one of the most exciting compact sports cars, while the recent CS version has taken the manual, rear-wheel drive, straight-six formula to another level – although the extra cost is hard to swallow. However, the good news for BMW M purists is that the new one is likely to retain all of the old car’s key attributes, but deliver even more performance.

2022 bmw m2 7 0

The previous-generation M2 was a key model for BMW’s M division. Back in 2018, the brand labelled the car as its “strongest growth driver,” so the success of this new model is vital, even though the firm’s portfolio has since expanded to include more popular performance vehicles, such as SUVs and even electric cars.

BMW’s latest M2 prototype isn’t wearing the heavy body cladding of our previously snapped test cars, which gives us a detailed look at the cosmetic tweaks the company’s performance arm have made to the flagship model’s design.

Up front, there’s a new bumper with a lower splitter and more vents, while the rear end gets an enormous diffuser complete with BMW M’s trademark quad-exit exhaust tips. The side skirts are also lower and there’s a new ducktail spoiler on the bootlid.

BMW isn’t expected to launch the new M2 until the end of 2022, and the car might not reach Australian showrooms until the beginning of 2023, so pricing details still haven’t been confirmed.

Alastair Crooks

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