We join BMW SA to try out the all-new BMW M2 at the SA national launch event.

BMW SA hosted M Fest towards the latter part of 2022. At that event (which you can read about at this link) the company unveiled two very interesting and diverse products, namely the BMW M2 and the XM.

At the time, the local subsidiary informed us that both high-performance models would make their debut in the local market in the second half of 2023. True to word, both have made their SA debut with a national ride-and-drive event hosted in the Western Cape. We report on our recent first-hand experience of the M2.

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New Generation

The latest (read G87) M2 is the second of its name. Its predecessor is the best-selling M-car of all time with approximately 60 000 units sold worldwide. With that in mind it is interesting that BMW’s design team chose such a polarising design for the replacement. While many models in the range have standout designs (M3/4, etc), those such as the top-selling 3 Series and X3 are quite conservative by comparison, which isn’t surprising.

We’ll leave you to make up your own mind about the M2’s appearance. However, we will say that the M2 does not appear in images as it does in person. The lines are quite aggressive, especially those rally-esque, bulging wheelarches. And if you are a fan of Lego cars then the boxy front intakes and a similar motif at the rear should be pleasing.


The latest BMW M2 has the same recipe as so many performance BMWs that have come before it. That is to say it has a front-mounted inline-six that sends power to the rear axle. In standard form torque is sent through an eight-speed automatic with a six-speed manual offered as an option – nice!

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The turbocharged engine develops maximum power of 338 kW and peak torque of 550 N.m. BMW says the M2 can sprint from to 100 km/h in 4,1 seconds in auto’ guise with the manual version 0,2 seconds slower. The top speed of the new BMW M2 is limited to 250 km/h, but that can be raised to 285 km/h if you take the optional M Driver’s Package.

On the Road

The pace provided from the turbocharged six is relentless. The power delivery is near instantaneous and the swell of torque can pin you into the seat until you let off the loud pedal. Speaking of which, the inline motor has a bassy backbeat that fills the cabin, but it’s not overbearing. It rises to a lovely creamy crescendo as the revs rise to the redline.

BMW’s engines never lack for pace, but depending on the product the engine can be the centre of attention. That, however, is not the case with this car. You can tell that the engineers were driving enthusiasts. The ride quality from the 19-inch front and 20-inch rear, rubber is firm. In fact, the ride can be unsettling at times, weirdly this was experienced in the ‘comfort’ setting. Ramping up to the sportiest suspension setting, and lifting the pace, displayed a higer level of body control than any other configuration.

Quick Footed

The BMW M2 is good on the open road, but that’s not where it shines. Point it in the direction of the nearest set of twisties and things get really interesting. It is on the mountain passes selected for this route that we wish BMW had included a manual-equipped car to drive.

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Nonetheless, the M2 is still entertaining. There is a high level of grip from the staggered tyre set-up. The front end reacts with quick direction changes and the rear axle (borrowed from the M4) with its aggressive LSD joins in the fun when you feed in the power, clawing into the surface and helping to turn the rear end.

The steering is probably the weakest part of this car’s dynamic repertoire. The electrically assisted helm not giving too much in the way off feedback. On the whole this is a playful car that will provide the kind of thrills keen drivers enjoy. And as it is rear-wheel-drive, it will take a while for most to master.


It’s not difficult to realise why the original M2 was such a hit. It had all the hallmarks that BMW’s performance division was famous for. Its newer namesake takes that recipe and lifts it up a level. This is a car made for driving enthusiasts. Considering that it is (in all likelihood) the very last pure ICE car that the brand will release, we should rejoice that it was made at all.

BMW M2 Pricing – R1 485 000