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BMW Confirms 2023 M2 will Be Last ICE-Only Model from the M Division

A BMW M2 | Photo: BMW
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Daniel Rufiange
Tagged the last M to come with only a combustion engine, the next M2 is sure to attract collectors

Everyone knows the future of the automobile is electrified. As a result, it's inevitable that even pure sports cars will eventually have to swap their gasoline engines for battery-powered drivetrains.

And with increasingly strict regulations, that's going to happen sooner than we think, if the trend continues, of course. One never knows, the future may yet hold surprises.

For now, BMW, where electrification is already well underway, has its performance division preparing for what's next. That will come under the leadership of returning M boss Frank van Meel, who previously headed the division from 2015 to 2018. Between 2019 and 2021, he worked on the development of the iX and the electrified 7 Series. His return to M will allow the performance branch to benefit from his expertise in electrification.

In fact, the XM model will be the first to debut, with production scheduled to begin in late 2022. The parallel question to all the changes remained, of course, what will be the last M vehicle to use only an internal combustion engine? van Meel confirmed to German outlet Bimmer Today that it will be the 2023 M2.

“The BMW M2 with in-line six-cylinder and rear-wheel drive will definitely be a puristic driving machine. We will see increasing electrification in other vehicles, of course in different forms, starting with the 48-volt electrical system and plug-in hybrids to fully electric drives. Seen in this way, the M2 will be the last M with a pure combustion engine drive and also without electrification scope such as a 48-volt on-board network, yes.”

- Frank van Meel, BMW M CEO

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The BMW iX
The BMW iX | Photo: BMW

So there will be other vehicles with gasoline engines in the M division, but they will receive some kind of electric support. That makes the next M2 a collector's car.

And the car will still be available with a manual transmission, the choice of more than half of North American M2 buyers, according to van Meel.

Production of the next-generation M2, which has been spotted by spy cameras but not yet officially presented by BMW, will begin late this year in Mexico. Expect a presentation an further details on the model in the next few weeks/months.

Daniel Rufiange
Daniel Rufiange
Automotive expert
  • Over 17 years' experience as an automotive journalist
  • More than 75 test drives in the past year
  • Participation in over 250 new vehicle launches in the presence of the brand's technical specialists