The recently leaked 2023 BMW M2 was met with horror across the internet this week. Not surprising as most anything new seen through haphazardly leaked photos is a recipe for discontent. But to our eyes what BMW M has done with tje new M2 is nothing short of a revelation.

For years BMW M has been evolving from a functionally driven design aesthetic to one that is full of complex shapes and fake vents. Where Porsche GT cars have stayed true to the mantra ”form follows function, BMW M seemed to be going in the opposite direction creating complex and (at times) convoluted designs.

Enter the new 2023 M2. What we see here is a car that is stripped back stylistically to what matters. Gone is the busy styling and fake intakes and in their place a clean and honest design that feels more connected to M products from the 80’s, 90’s and 00’s. Perhaps nowhere do we see the difference more than the front. The shapes (starting with the grille) are simpler and more associated with the cooling hardware underneath. Again it’s aligned with function more than purely a styling exercise.

Perhaps it’s not a surprise given the man behind BMW M Design is Marcus Syring, the lead designer of the E46 M3 and the legendary Z3M Coupe. He’s also the one who’s brought us the new (and controversial) BMW XM. Knowing Marcus from his time at MINI as well, he’s show an ability to both successfully pay homage to the past while not being afraid of breaking new ground. We’ve seen it in everything from the Z3M Coupe to the XM. But here he’s created something that feels more aligned to the E46 M3 in its focus on simplicity and proportion.

But that’s our take. What’s yours? Let us know in the comments below.