BMW unveiled the new 2 Series Coupe in early July and yet we've already seen our fair share of spy shots depicting the M2. The latest batch from the Nürburgring is a bit more special as we have reasons to believe this is no ordinary M2, but actually, the hotter Competition version scheduled to arrive at a later date. The dead giveaway is at the back where the exhaust system features visibly larger quad tips compared to the standard M2.

Although we don't have a clear view of the interior, from some angles, it appears the prototype features carbon bucket seats – yet another hint we're dealing with a spicy version. Not only that, but the wheels seem larger (20 inches?) and the test vehicle appears to be riding slightly lower to the ground than previous M2s caught undergoing testing in recent months.

Gallery: 2023 BMW M2 Competition spy photos

All of the latest-generation 2 Series Coupe versions so far come exclusively with the automatic – yes, even the M240i – but that will change with the M2 as it's widely believed it will have three pedals. The previous Competition (and CS) also had a stick shift, so we're keeping our hopes up high its replacement will allow drivers to row their own gears. 

The detuned S58 sourced from big-brother M4 is said to make as much as 490 bhp in the Competition guise. While the larger M performance coupe is optionally offered with xDrive, rumours say BMW will sell the next M2 only with a rear-wheel-drive layout to keep the weight down. An automatic transmission is expected to be available as well.

Codenamed G87, the revamped M2 will look different than the 2 Series Coupe in the sense it will adopt rectangular air intakes and a boxier front grille with horizontal slats, on top of the usual changes BMW makes when upgrading a regular 2er to a full-fat M model. With nearly as much power as an M4 while weighing significantly less, the new M2 should be a real hoot.

It will be a long wait as rumour has it that production of the regular M2 won't start until December 2022, and logic tells us the Competition will arrive later in 2023. The silver lining is BMW will likely unveil the feisty coupe a few months earlier, so look for an official premiere next summer or even sooner.