2023 BMW M2 Coupé (car review)

The previous generation M2 Coupé set a high benchmark, with a mouth watering offering. Our review of that vehicle described it as the “best driver’s car ever made”. Talk about a hard act to follow. It’s fair to say though, that BMW has created something great.

This time around, the German car maker has taken the good from the last model, and fine tuned it to create what we’re calling a “true driver’s car”. These few words sum up what the M2 Coupé stands for.

BMW’s may have very nearly nailed their philosophy to “create a vehicle that evokes a sense of emotion and passion in drivers”. From the moment you hop inside this rear-wheel drive two-door coupé, it defines the term, “absolute beast”.

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It’s a car that wants to be driven, and driven well. Pull up to a set of lights and you just want to put your foot down and go, such is its persona. We’re going to throw caution to the wind too, and say the 8-speed auto is as good as the 6-speed manual.

A rare thing, sure. Controversial, maybe. But it’s that good. We should tell you that this silky smooth transmission is paired to a 3.0-litre twin turbo inline-six cylinder engine which produces 338kW of power and 550Nm of torque.

2023 BMW M2 Coupé
2023 BMW M2 Coupé

That’s married to an active M differential that generates maximum locking effect while distributing the drive torque evenly to both rear wheels, as well as compensating for the rotational speed difference. As BMW says – maximum driving pleasure is guaranteed.

On paper, BMW claims 0-100km/h in a modest 4.1 seconds. On the road, it feels quicker. Push it through corners and the pocket rocket that is the M2 Coupé hugs the road, feeling almost go kart like as it powers out of the bends.

There are three drive modes to choose from, in the form of Comfort, Sport and Sport+, with the almost famous M button giving you the option to create a custom driving mode that harnesses your own favourite settings.

For the record, Sport+ is all that, and a bag of crisps, as the saying goes, stiffening the suspension to its maximum setting and adding a nice growl to noise that emanates from the four tailpipes.

The change the the transmission shift pattern will throw you back in your seat if you decide to give the pedal a little forceful dab, which will deliver you a wry smile if you’ve got passengers who weren’t expecting it.

dash
Inside the 2023 BMW M2 Coupé

Overall, the ride is firm (possibly to firm for some), and you’ll feel pretty much every bump in Sydney’s excellent road infrastructure, but it’s still an absolute dream to drive. You’ll eventually forget you’re jiggling away in the cabin, such is smile it brings to your face.

There are M-specific add-ons that are truly part of the driving experience, like a lap timer and a drift analyser, both of which we were unable to test on the road. The latter even gives you a drift rating out of five – just like a real-life video game.

It does work as a daily driver too, and while it may not be the most comfortable or practical, the absolute joy it gives you is right up there. Comfort mode makes it painless enough to live with every day. Sport mode delivers when you need extra grunt.

From a design perspective, bold styling is probably an understatement, with an ultra-chunky piano black kidney grille that looks like a scaled down version of the somewhat unpopular super-sized version on the M3 and M4, the standout.

Flared wheel arches encase 19-inch front and 20-inch rear wheels, alongside an optional carbon fibre roof (part of the M Driver’s package) to create a sleek performance machine, tested here in M Brooklyn Grey.

seats
Inside the 2023 BMW M2 Coupé

If that’s not for you, there’s also Toronto Red, Black Sapphire Black, Zandvoort Blue and Alpine White. BMW’s 50th Anniversary retro badge adorns the hood of this year’s model and there are little touches of M styling throughout the interior.

Our test car was optioned with a Vernasca Cognac brown leather interior, which we’d describe as another bold choice. There are two black options which include M racing seats with M coloured stitching which traditional BMW M fans might prefer.

That aside, you’ll find the front seats are heated and offer electric adjustment. Rear seating is minimal, as you might expect from a compact two-door coupé, but there are ISOFIX anchor points should you want to squeeze your small humans back there.

Boot space okay, at 390-litres. There’s a 16-speaker Harman Kardon sound system that will knock your socks off, DAB+ digital radio, wireless charging, and cord-free Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

A curved 14.9-inch infotainment screen takes care of all your infotainment needs. It’s joined by a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster which can be customised depending on your driving mode, and there’s three zone climate control.

2023 BMW M2 Coupé
2023 BMW M2 Coupé

All the standard safety tech you would expect is on board, including ABS with brake assist, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring and a reversing camera. There are a range of options you can add as you build your own on the BMW Australia website.

Priced at just over $132,000 drive away (options dependant), the 2023 BMW M2 Coupé comes with a 5-year unlimited kilometre warranty. You can find out more at your local BMW dealer, and if you’re keen on one, and need finance, talk to CreditOne.

Our test vehicle was provided by BMW Australia for review purposes.

REVIEW OVERVIEW

Driving experience
9.5
Exterior styling
9
Interior look and feel
9.5
Technology and connectivity
8.5
Family friendliness
7
Value for money
8

SUMMARY

Pros - engine noise; sensational on road presence; excellent build quality inside and out.
Cons - ride will be too firm for some; limited rear space for passengers.
Antonio Khattar
Antonio Khattar
With a keen interest in motorsport, even more so recently with some F1 sim racing, Antonio feels at home behind the wheel of his XR5 Turbo. Away from motoring, it’s all about photography, airplanes and of course… Golf!

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<strong>Pros -</strong> engine noise; sensational on road presence; excellent build quality inside and out.<br> <strong>Cons -</strong> ride will be too firm for some; limited rear space for passengers.2023 BMW M2 Coupé (car review)