2023 BMW M2 Review: Double Down

Derryn Wong

The smallest, ‘purest’ M car, the M2 coupe, is larger, faster, and more powerful – but does it lose its driver-pleasing nature in the gamble?

2023 BMW M2

Launch: Q2 2023 – Price: S$380,000 without COE or VES
Two-door, small sports coupe, four seats
460hp, 3.0-litre petrol engine, VES TBC, 9.7L/100km

Faster, but still a proper M driver’s car
Wide spectrum of performance
Manual option for more fun

Styling will polarise opinion
Optional carbon seats fudge legs


BMW M’s repertoire now encompasses a spectrum that’s gone far beyond its three-stripe logo, but for those who just want A Proper M car, the second-gen M2 is still very much it.

BMW M is now much more than simply the go-faster, motorsport arm of BMW. It’s a sub-brand unto itself too now: Last year it sold more cars than it ever has in its history, around 177k units. To get there, in the past decade or so it’s gone the SUV route with cars like the X3 M, X5 M, and so on. This year, it’ll go even further with its largest, most expensive car to date, the PHEV performance SUV, the XM. In other words, it’s come far from a skunkworks outfit whose spiritual home is the Nordschleife.

But a large part of M will always be a coupe/sedan with a screaming inline six driving only the rear wheels and the driver rowing his own gears. That’s exactly what the second-gen M2 doubles down on – it sits on the other end of the spectrum from the XM, the smallest, lightest car that BMW M makes, and is almost one third the cost.

The M2 first appeared in 2016, as the successor to the sold-out limited 1 Series M, and like that car it was an immediate hit. CarBuyer tested it both at its 2016 launch at Laguna Seca, and in updated 2018 M2 Competition format and loved it, so it’s no surprise the M2 became the best-selling model for M around the world.

Styling and Appearance

But now that the 2 Series has evolved into its second-gen, so too does the M2. It hasn’t grown by much, thankfully – it’s 119mm longer, but only 16mm wider, and almost the same height, being just 11mm taller.

We enjoyed the styling of the new 2 Series Coupe, which we tested in Singapore as the all-wheel drive M240i, a handsome, muscular, and sporty small coupe. The M2 builds on that the ‘muscular’ bit – it’s a whopping 49mm wider – but the front end styling will certainly be divisive.

BMW M opted for a frameless kidney grille and a very square theme on the lower front. That could be, like the round headlamp projectors, another cue to BMWs of yore, but to our eyes, it simply doesn’t gel with the rest of the car, or the rest of the M sedan/coupe range. The rear, in contrast, doesn’t have that problem – it looks thoroughly sporty and modern with its diffuser and fat quad-tailpipes.

We like that BMW loves to take design risks, sometimes they don’t pay off immediately. While you’ll be the ultimate judge of the design. Yet, it’s also fitting that the M2 is not the sort of machine for people who buy a car with their eyes, but with their heart – and ass.

  1. Introduction / Styling and Appearance
  2. Driving Experience
  3. Interior / Competition and Conclusion

Pages: 1 2 3


bmw Coupe m2 sports

About the Author

Derryn Wong

CarBuyer's former chief editor was previously the editor for Top Gear Singapore and a presenter for CNA's Cruise Control motoring segment.

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