BMW Debuts the Next-Gen M2 With 453 HP and a Six-Speed Manual

It’s definitely got a face that might turn people off, but it sure seems like it’s going to be a good time to drive.

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A red BMW M2 burns rubber on a race track.
BMW’s next-gen M2 definitely looks more aggressive than the last one, but it has the performance to back it up.
Photo: BMW

Camouflaged pictures of the new M2 have been around for a while now, and much to the chagrin of many, it looked like it was going to continue the wildly aggressive styling trends of its bigger siblings. Now, thanks to an announcement made by BMW on Tuesday, we know that it’s definitely got hyper-aggressive styling, but it’s also got a lot else going for it.

The M2 has been not only the most affordable M car since it debuted but also arguably the one that’s closest to the M cars of old, with more focus on driving dynamics and enjoyment than outright speed or lap times. Thankfully it looks like it’s still going to be the case with the next-generation model thanks to its standard six-speed manual transmission and super spicy 453 hp and 406 lb-ft-producing turbocharged inline-six. It’s also likely to be the last non-hybrid M model ever, according to previous statements by M boss Frank Van Meel.

As a bonus, the M2 is rear-wheel drive only, and the rear diff is BMW’s perennially excellent M Active Differential which is in constant communication with the M2’s traction and stability control systems to ensure it always has the right amount of lock on. BMW also went to town on the M2’s chassis, adding tons of bracing to the 2 series’ spaceframe to make it as rigid as possible. Further, BMW is including adaptive suspension and its Servotronic variable-assist power steering system as standard equipment.

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The interior of the new BMW M2 with a six-speed manual transmission.
The interior is a lot less polarizing than the exterior, especially thanks to that lever between the seats.
Photo: BMW

Also along for the ride is a super advanced suite of electronics, including BMW’s M-tuned ten-level traction control system, lap timer and a “Drift Analyzer” for making your behind-the-wheel stupidity look as cool as possible. The interior is a huge upgrade over the previous interior, thanks to the inclusion of a huge curved dash and infotainment screen.

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What this all boils down to is the fact that the new M2 – which will debut in April of next year – is probably going to be one hell of a driver’s car and well-positioned to be the most loveable car you can buy with an M badge, if you can get past how it looks. The best part is that it will start at an eminently reasonable $63,195, including a $995 destination charge, so it’s time to start getting excited.