2023 BMW M2

MIAMI — BMW’s M2 sports coupe moves aggressively into its second generation with the 2023 BMW M2 Coupe offering the joy of a manual gearbox, rear-wheel drive, and lots of technological features to satisfy 21st Century customers. Oh, sure, an 8-speed double-clutch transmission is available, but to experience all that the 2023 BMW M2 Coupe has to offer in the way of driving fun you need to stick with the stick.

As the best seller in BMW’s M (for motorsport) fleet of performance-oriented vehicles, the M2 Coupe also has grown a bit for 2023. At 180.3 inches long and 74.3 inches wide, it eclipses the previous generation by 4.1 and 1.3 inches, respectively, while maintaining a slightly lower profile. Wheelbase has been increased to 108.1 inches from the 2021 M2’s 106.0 inches, the immediate predecessor since the M2 skipped the 2022 model year.

Under the hood is a 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder engine that pumps out 453 horsepower, a leap of 48 ponies over its predecessor while peak torque of 406 pound-feet matches that for M3 and M4 models. BMW pegs zero-to-60 mph times for manual M2s at 4.1 seconds and the automatics at 3.9 seconds.

Fuel mileage is about what you would expect for such a combination of power. The government gives the manual M2 ratings of 16 miles-per-gallon city, 24 highway, and 19 combined using 93 octane fuel. Models with the automatic check in a mile less on the highway but match the city and combined numbers.

A nearly 15-inch touchscreen dominates the dash giving access to the iDrive 8 infotainment systems and providing a comprehensive map for the standard navigation system. It does take some work to get to all the features that are included but they are there.

Setting driver preferences, on the other hand, are a snap. You can preset two distinct driver assistance programs for the engine (Efficient, Comfort, Sport, Sport Plus) and chassis (Comfort, Sport, Sport Plus) well as for braking and steering via the two small red buttons on the steering wheel marked M1 and M2.

Comfort and convenience features on the 2023 BMW M2 include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, keyless entry with push-button start, two memory settings for the driver’s seat, rain-sensing windshield wipers, heated front seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and a Harman Kardon premium sound system

Other standard features include LED headlights, front and rear park distance control, an M rear spoiler, adaptive M suspension, M-tuned dual quad exhaust tips, and M double-spoke alloy wheels in a jet black finish (19-inch front, 20 rear).

Included at no cost in the starting MSRP of $62,200 for my test 2023 BMW M2 were red M compound brakes, dual zone climate control, Anthracite headliner, and several M-specific design touches like seat belts and BMW M 50-year emblems.

Adding to the bottom line, however, were such options as a full LED lighting package, special Brooklyn grey paint, and a $9,900 carbon package (M carbon roof, M carbon fiber seats done in black, carbon fiber trim, and the M driver’s package that includes lane-keeping assist, blind spot warning, and jacks up top speed to 177 mph from 155.

Add in $995 for destination and delivery and you have a final tab of $75,695.

What I liked about the 2023 BMW M2 Coupe: It’s an attention-getter for sure. Performance is exhilarating. With one tiny exception (see below) operation of the manual transmission is smooth. Tech features do have some odd quirks but overall are not overly complex and function via voice, touchscreen, or a knob on the console. The touchscreen is nice and wide to accommodate the navigation map. The interior is classy.

What I didn’t like about the 2023 BMW M2 Coupe: The side bolsters on the seats make getting in and out of the front a chore. Moving the driver’s seat as far back as possible helps, but you still have to kind of fall in and pull yourself out. Shifting into reverse takes some work. Adaptive cruise control is not offered on manual transmission models. Front seats glide forward to make room for backseat riders to get in, but having straps to release the catches for the front seat backs is not the best system. The backseats don’t offer much in the way of room anyway.

Would I buy the 2023 BMW M2 Coupe? If you like to have a little fun with your luxury driving experience and a two-door model suits your needs, this is a fun vehicle to drive. The racy appearance is sure to draw positive attention from friends, family, and bystanders.

— Paul Borden