2023 BMW M2 Makes More HP at the Wheels Than Claimed at the Crank

Good thing the M2 is so powerful because it’s also surprisingly heavy.

byNico DeMattia|
BMW News photo

All German brands are pretty sneaky with their power figures. It happens every time a new German performance car comes out—someone puts it on a dyno and it ends up making more power than the manufacturer claimed. In the case of the new 2023 BMW M2, though, it actually seems to make more power at the wheels than BMW claims it does at the crank.

According to BMW, the new M2's twin-turbo 3.0-liter straight-six makes 453 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque. Manufacturer claimed horsepower is measured at the engine's crankshaft, not at the wheels. Wheel horsepower is always less than crank horsepower, due to drivetrain loss, as the engine's power is routed through a transmission, differential, and half shafts, before it gets to the wheels. However, IND Distribution's dyno test seems to prove that BMW is severely underrating the M2's engine.

The best pre-break-in dyno test IND Distribution could get out of the new BMW M2 saw it make 464.59 horsepower and 412.85 pound-feet of torque. That means the M2 makes around 11 horsepower and six pound-feet more at the wheels than BMW claims at the crank. According to IND, when you adjust for the average drivetrain loss of about 15 percent, the M2 makes 547 horsepower and 486 pound-feet at the crank.

As IND points out, the BMW M2's wheel horsepower isn't actually far off from BMW M4, which is more expensive and more powerful on paper. IND's own BMW M4 (non-Competition) made 464.92 horsepower at the wheels, which isn't even a full horsepower stronger than the smaller, less expensive M2.

However, the BMW M2 needs all the power it can get, as it's shockingly heavy for such a small car. IND put it on the scale and it checked in at 3,758 lbs, with three-quarters of gas left in the tank, a carbon roof, and standard seats.

The fact that the M2 is more powerful than advertised isn't surprising. This same sort of discovery happens every time a new German performance car is released. Instead, what is surprising is how much more powerful the M2 is. Why did BMW so drastically underrate the M2's power? Was it to keep its brand hierarchy with the M3/M4 intact? Or maybe it was so the M2 could ride the media cycle a little while longer, as tuning shops post their results? Whatever the reason, M2 owners now have some pretty impressive barstool bragging rights.

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