The 2023 BMW M2 has been spied testing for the first time, ahead of its rumoured unveiling late in 2022.
Images captured by our spy photography partners show BMW's fan-favourite compact M2 performance coupe for the first time, combining the traditional coupe proportions of 'standard' 2 Series prototypes spied in recent months with a range of M-specific touches, differentiating the flagship from its regular range-mates.
While the M2 prototype's front and rear fascias are largely obscured by camouflage, an array of styling upgrades peek through to confirm we're looking at the full-fat, M-fettled model, with (significantly) flared front and rear wheel arches, M aerodynamic door mirrors, and a quad exhaust system reminiscent of the current M2 and larger M3/M4 twins.
The prototype also sits closer to the road than four- and six-cylinder 2 Series coupe prototypes previously caught testing, while a small lip spoiler similar in design to the limited-run, outgoing M2 CS can be seen on the boot lid.
Although not visible in these early spy shots, the new, G87-generation M2 should score more aggressive front and rear bumpers compared to the standard 2 Series (codenamed G42), plus sportier side skirts and unique alloy wheels.
What won't change between M Performance and full M variants are the door handles, with both models on track to feature the same pop-out units set to be employed by nearly all of BMW's next-generation models, from the i4 electric five-door to the new 7 Series limo.
Inside, expect the Bavarian brand's latest infotainment and comfort technologies – led by a 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen and a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster – to be joined by a plethora of sporty M-specific touches, including body-hugging sports seats, leather and Alcantara trim, carbon-fibre inlays and M2 badging.
Under the bonnet, British publication Autocar reports the new M2 will be powered by a detuned version of the M3 and M4’s new-generation 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged ‘S58’ inline-six, developing “at least” 313kW of power and 550Nm of torque.
While those figures are down (at most) 40kW over ‘base’ versions of the aforementioned pair, they’re up at least 11kW over the outgoing M2 Competition, which featured a detuned version of the old M3 and M4’s ‘S55’ twin-turbo six.
A six-speed manual will reportedly continue to be fitted as standard, with an eight-speed torque-converter automatic – in place of the outgoing M2’s seven-speed dual-clutch ‘box – available as an option.
The 2023 BMW M2 should make its full debut either late in 2022 or early in 2023, given BMW’s typical two-year ‘cycles’ from the first sighting of development prototypes to the production model’s official unveiling.
Should that timing hold true, expect to see the Bavarian brand’s performance coupe in Australian showrooms sometime in the second half of 2023.
Production is rumoured to commence in December 2022, at BMW’s plant in Mexico.
As for its regular range-mate, the non-M 2 Series coupe range is expected to be unveiled in the coming months.