Is BMW incubating a hotter M2?
Spy photographers have captured a camo-clad BMW sports car cruising around Europe, a prototype believed to be a new, hotter variant of the BMW M2 denoted CS.
In BMW parlance, those letters stand for Competition Sport and typically denote the most hardcore versions of the company’s performance sedans and coupes. We’ve seen CS versions of the M3, M4, M5, and the previous-generation M2, but not yet for the newest M2, which is only available as a base version for 2023.
Compared to the M2 currently on the market, this coupe boasts wider wheels shod in more serious-looking rubber—Pirelli P Zero tires, to be specific. (The base car wears Michelin’s Pilot Sport 4 S.) We can see six-piston front brake calipers and single-piston rears—no change there—squeezing performance brake rotors that are now slotted as well as drilled. We’ll have to wait and see if those rotors are carbon ceramic—a fancy material often used for ultra-high-performance applications like an especially athletic M2—or just heavily ventilated iron.
The current M2 does not offer carbon ceramic brakes, but other CS models within the BMW lineup, such as the M5 CS, do offer such tech—it could be one of the key additions to this top-shelf 2 Series to justify what will inevitably be a hefty price increase over the $65,000-ish that you’ll pay for a normal 2023 M2.
There’s not much else to set this M2 CS apart from a normal M2 visually, although the ducktail spoiler at the rear does appear to be more pronounced than it is on the standard car.
Given that the CS cars prioritize performance changes over aesthetic ones, we’re not all that bothered by the muted looks. Expect BMW’s engineers to rummage under the hood and find a few more ponies for the S58 twin-turbocharged inline-six, possibly pushing output into the 475-hp range, a notable gain from the 453 hp on offer in the regular M2.
Selfishly, we’re holding out hope that the six-speed manual transmission that comes standard on normal M2s will also make its way onto the M2 CS. Realistically, expect a tuned version of the eight-speed torque-converter automatic to be the standard gearbox here—every modern BMW CS car employs an automatic currently—and maybe, if we’re lucky, they’ll offer the six-speed as an option.
We’re nearing the end of exclusively internal-combustion-powered BMW M cars, and the current M2 is already one of the sweetest on offer. If an even gnarlier version is indeed on its way, and if that winds up being a sort of final salute to gas-powered BMW M cars, or even just smaller, driver-focused BMW M cars, it ought to be a mighty special machine. Expect to see the M2 CS revealed in full sometime next year, possibly as a 2025 model-year vehicle.