BMW M2 vs Porsche Cayman GT4

BMW M2, Interesting | October 13th, 2015 by 11
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The M2 is BMW’s latest offering from its storied M Division and could possibly overtake its iconic M3 as the enthusiasts favorite BMW. Porsche has …

The M2 is BMW’s latest offering from its storied M Division and could possibly overtake its iconic M3 as the enthusiasts favorite BMW. Porsche has a similar car among its ranks, the Cayman GT4, which has won over the hearts of Porsche enthusiasts from the iconic 911. So both of these cars are similar in that they’re both newcomers to their respective brands and they’re both set to become favorites.

However, on paper, the two cars couldn’t be more different. The Porsche Cayman GT4 is mid-engined, whereas the BMW M2 is front-engined. They both use six-cylinder engines, but the M2 has BMW’s typical inline arrangement while Porsche uses its classic horizontally-opposed setup.

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BMW’s engine also only displaces 3.0 liters and is turbocharged, while the Porsche’s is bigger, at 3.8 liters, and breathes free of forced induction. Both are available with a manual transmission, but the BMW M2 has the option of a dual-clutch gearbox, while the Cayman can not be had with anything less than three pedals. So these cars are very different in their approach, despite their sibling killing similarities. However, they do share the same goal, to put gigantic grins on the people sitting inside of them.

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The Cayman GT4 is the hottest Cayman to be released and uses the 3.8 liter flat-six engine from the 911. That 911 engine produces a healthy 385 hp, revs out to a snarling 7,800 rpm and is paired to the aforementioned six-speed manual transmission. But this isn’t just a hot-rod Cayman with a bigger engine. Oh, no. It has chassis and suspension bits from the 911 GT3 and much improved aerodynamics. That aerodynamic kit adds a fixed carbon fiber wing that provides real downforce, added active engine and transmission mounts make the drivetrain stiffen up during hard cornering to improve rigidity and the chassis and steering parts pulled from the 911 GT3 all make the Cayman GT4 handle as sharply as a surgeons scalpel.

The BMW M2 does things a bit differently. It’s turbocharged 3.0 liter I6 engine produces 370 hp, revs to 7,000 rpm and can be mated to either a six-speed manual or seven-speed DCT. The M2 also comes with quite a bit of clever M stuff to differentiate it from its lowly M235i sibling. The chassis and suspension have been upgraded with quite a bit of aluminum and the suspension and steering components have been changed to allow for sharper handling. An Active M Differential has been fitted as standard, as well. The BMW M2 should be the sharpest driving BMW of all.

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In terms of performance, both cars are pretty equal to each other. Porsche rates its Cayman GT4 at doing the sprint from 0-60 mph in 4.2 seconds, which is probably pretty accurate. BMW rates its M2 at 4.3 seconds for the same sprint, but we are guessing that it’s a bit quicker than that, as BMW is usually quite conservative with its performance figures. With 3,296 lbs for the M2 and about 3,100 lbs for the Cayman GT4, the M2 clearly loses the loss weight challenge. The GT4 is going to be the faster car, as it’s both more powerful and lighter, but the M2 makes its power way earlier in the rev range and has a flatter torque curve, thanks to its turbocharged engine. So while the very high-tech and sophisticated Cayman GT4 should be faster than the M2, it won’t be by much.

Handling and fun-factor might differentiate these two cars, though. The GT4 is designed to be a precision tool of the highest caliber. It uses race-bred suspension and chassis components, has a lightweight and stripped out interior, has active engine and transmission mounts and has its engine mounted in the middle. The M2 also has quite a bit of aluminum in its suspension and chassis, has a fancy differential and race-bred technology, so it should be interesting to see how well the M2 can stack up to the GT4.

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Another factor between the two cars is price. The BMW M2 is rumored to be priced at $51,000 in the US while the Porsche Cayman GT4 starts at $85,000 US.

An M2 CSL would certainly be a stronger opponent for the GT4, but for now, a lightweight M2 remains a fantasy.

11 responses to “BMW M2 vs Porsche Cayman GT4”

  1. Daniel Johnson says:

    Were did you get 3196lbs as the weight for the M2? Did you mean 3296lbs?

  2. BOB says:

    So much false information in this article lol. “The BMW M2 starts life at around $65,000 in the U.S.” lmao M3 MSRP is $63,200?? Also, 0-60mph for GT4 is the same as DCT M2 @ 4.2 sec

  3. Vincent says:

    Love your BMW passion but please don’t embarrass us… the GT4 does the ring in 7:40, Cayman GTS in 7:53. At 7:58 the M2 is the same as the soft top Boxster S which also has less power/torque… shows how far behind the M2 chassis is. No doubt a great addition to the ///M family but not Porsche material.

    • maxnix says:

      So how are those rear seats in the Cayman?

      How far do those front seats recline backwards?

      • Vincent says:

        and exactly how comfortable are those passengers in the rear seats of the M2? Especially as the front seats are reclined? The M2 is compromised for its rear seat.

        2 seaters don’t make that compromise and it’s that purest focus which makes them better drivers cars.

        Buy a proper passenger car for passengers and a proper driver’s car for drivers. The M2 tries to do both but does neither as well as more dedicated vehicles.

    • roginator says:

      It’s clear which is the pure driver’s car, but the M2 puts up a pretty good fight given it’s coupe based roots. Most people think they want a sports car but actually want a fast car like the M2.

  4. […] The BMW M2, on the other hand, is fun at any speed. You don’t need a race track or unrestricted slice of road. All you need is the M2 and you can have some fun. That’s because BMW focused on how the M2 made its driver’s feel, rather than how fast it could go. And because of that fact, the BMW M2 could be the Bavarian Porsche Cayman GT4. […]

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