What on earth are these designers thinking?
The 2023 BMW M2 has just been revealed, and it has some fine selling points. Based on the same architecture that underpins the M4 Coupe, the M2 comes with a slightly detuned version of its big brother's S58 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged straight-six engine. Here, it produces 453 horsepower, all of which goes to the rear axle via a six-speed manual gearbox as standard. That's all fantastic, but many are struggling to get to grips with the styling.
But if you thought the G87 M2's looks were iffy to begin with, they're downright offensive with the M Performance range of parts applied to it. And since we don't see the gold wheels from BMW's earlier teasers, there is likely to be even more in the way of shocking "upgrades" available for the new baby M.
When we were first teased with the M2's M Performance upgrades last month, things looked fairly promising. But without the benefit of camouflage, we can see that BMW is leaning even more heavily into contrarian vehicle design. From the front, things aren't too bad. Sure, there's a silly vinyl wrap applied, but it's not as extreme as that of the M3 and M4. We can also see a menacing carbon fiber splitter on the front bumper (where the lower intakes have been accented in black) and carbon fiber mirror caps in place of the regular color-matched items. But the further back your eye moves, the more nauseated you may feel.
The upgraded wheels look to be based on those fitted to the exquisite F87 M2 CS, but the unnecessary vanes stuck onto the front wheel arch completely detract from these. And the more we look at the wrap on the body, the less sense it makes. Why spend all that time designing such a boxy car only to apply a wrap that is made up of curves and squiggles?
Then there's the carbon piece stick to the rocker panels. Rather than a full-side skirt extension, this is intended to look like a real aerodynamic aid. Instead, it looks like an afterthought. The rear arch embellishment is not better. But the derriere of the car is sure to be the butt of even more jokes.
An aerofoil spoiler has been added to the roof, and a large wing has been fitted to the trunk. The fake vents in the rear bumper draw more attention to themselves with black accenting, and the diffuser has been replaced with a carbon fiber one that houses the same triangular quad-exhaust layout first seen on the M Performance-equipped M3 and M4. It's no easier to look at here.
The digital renderings you see with the car in white are not much better than the real-life photographs, and they show that things can get even more extreme, with additional decals placed all over the car to shout about its M Performance upgrades.
Pricing and exact details for the US have not yet been revealed, but if you buy an M2, save onlookers the pain and save yourself the cash: keep it stock.