Times are changing and cars evolve with the times as a result. That’s also the case with BMW’s M high-performance machines. From simply the M3 and M5, we’ve now come to a point where there’s a whole range of M cars to satisfy each need and want from the discerning car enthusiast. The 2024 BMW M2–now in its second generation, is no exception to that change. The sporty coupe has become more capable and more technologically advanced, and with the advent of electrification, this is probably the last non-electrified BMW M car.
Making A Bold Statement
But before we talk about how this car drives, let’s talk about what you’ll immediately see the moment you lay your eyes on it–its design. The new 2024 BMW M2 is the boldest that this sporty coupe has ever transformed into, but that didn’t come with its own set of controversies. A lot of people were happy with the fact that it didn’t come with huge nostrils like in the M3 and M4, only for all that attention to be focused on the controversial square-shaped aerodynamic elements.
In photos, I also had my reservations, but as with BMW’s typical shock-and-awe designs of late, it’s something I’ve come to appreciate over time–especially finally laying my eyes on the new M2. Peel away the MotoGP safety car livery, and I particularly loved the M2’s wide hips and shoulders that showcase its 50 mm wider track. The traditional M cues such as those side mirrors with fins and a carbon fiber roof in this particular M2 are all indicators of what this thing is capable of.
Sitting inside the 2024 BMW M2 brings a layer of both familiar and new. I’ve driven a lot of BMWs over the years, so I’m very familiar with how things normally operate. The two screens merged into a single glass housing also looks particularly interesting, but the iDrive 8 operating system isn’t perfect for me. Aesthetically, I think it looks nicer than iDrive 7, but where iDrive 7 is better is when it comes to the physical climate controls. Here, it’s always a two-step affair to simply change the temperature or fan speed.
That’s unfortunately also the case with changing the car’s various settings, which is just an added complication to adjust various driving settings. On the upside, once you’ve set the amount of wheel slip you want with the electronic stability control or the ferocity of the gear shifts, you can program these as shortcuts in the M1 and M2 buttons in the steering wheel. And speaking of driving features, this has an M Drift Analyzer. I’m not going to be using that feature since we’re not allowed to drift these things, though. We’re here to enjoy what the M2 is all about.
And that’s what you’ll get in spades in the 2024 BMW M2. Compared to the F87 generation it replaces, this new G87 inherits the CLAR platform of the bigger M3 and M4. As a result, the most immediate improvement you’ll notice is the sheer refinement and stability of this car. While I could argue that this is a modern-day interpretation of the E46 BMW M3, the grown-up dynamics and refinement also mean that this is a sports coupe that’s also perfect for long-distance driving. Ditto the ZF eight-speed automatic that replaces the previous seven-speed M DCT dual-clutch. It’s smooth and extremely civilized as you would expect this transmission to be, but out on track, it’s still ferociously good.
The S58 3.0-liter twin-turbo straight-six that produces 453 horsepower and 550 Nm of torque is also very good–as typical of any BMW straight-six engine. It’s smooth, linear, and emits a very delicious noise, though I do think a lot of this is piped in through speakers. That’s the compromise you get if you also want your sporty coupe to be extremely refined. Where I think the M2 is great at is attacking corners. The added width and length of the new M2 means that it is a lot more stable than before. The electric power steering is quick and very responsive, but in terms of feel, I do think that BMWs have gotten a bit numb over the years. Still, as far as electric steerings go, the one in the M2 is about as good as anyone that isn’t Porsche could get.
While the tactile communication through the wheel isn’t anymore as great as in past BMW M cars, there’s still communication to be felt with your butt as it goes through corners. The feeling of how the chassis responds as you make throttle adjustments is still there, albeit in a manner that’s more refined and less scary than before. There’s inherent balance in the chassis that will let you safely explore your limits as a driver. Compared to the very short stints I had with the previous M2, this means that the car feels less feisty as a result. The added stability somehow lets me explore my limits with the car more safely and thus, the new M2’s driving characteristics are what I would consider as approachable fun.
So, with its highly-capable performance but greatly improved refinement and stability, it seems that the M2 has somewhat transformed into a budget-friendly M4, right? Well, that’s kind of what happened. Looking at the spec sheet, the new 2024 BMW M2 is dimensionally bigger than the previous model. It’s 100 mm longer and 33 mm wider with a 53 mm longer wheelbase. In fact, in terms of width, the M2 is exactly the same as the M4 at 1,887 mm.
With a starting price of P5,990,000 for the M2 Pure and P8,890,000 for the M2 Carbon (which is essentially mostly added aesthetics and carbon fiber parts), the new M2 is nearly half the M4 Competition’s cost but is a vehicle that’s probably 90 percent as good. In other words, you could consider the M2 as a performance car bargain–especially when you consider that a much less powerful Toyota GR Supra nearly costs as much.