Oftentimes, people who appreciate really agile cars over ones that are just faster overall, tend to have a lot of love for the BMW M2.
First, it’s lighter than an M3 (or an M4 for that matter), so the fact that is has less power is by no means a letdown – especially since the difference in output is not that big. Second, it can be more satisfying to drive than an M3/M4, as many reviewers have pointed out, so that’s something worth taking into account as well.
But what about straight line acceleration? You might not care all that much on a beautiful twisty road, but on a track, you also have to deal with straights, which tend to expose any sort of power deficit if they’re long enough.
When stock, the difference between these two M cars is as follows: The M3 is worthy of 431 PS (425 HP) and 550 Nm (406 lb-ft) of torque, while the M2 uses 370 PS (365 HP) and 465 Nm (343 lb-ft) of its own to handle its business.
On paper, the BMW M3 will hit 100 km/h (62 mph) in 4.3 seconds with a 6sp manual and 4.1 seconds if you opt for the 7sp dual clutch automatic (DCT). The M2 on the other hand needs 4.5 seconds to 100 km/h (62mph) with a manual and 4.3 seconds if you cross the DCT option. It’s quite clear that the odds are in favor of the more potent model.
So what does this difference in straight line performance look like in the real world? You’re one click away from finding out.