These two cars have been compared quite a bit lately. The BMW M2 is the M Division’s latest sports car and some say the brand’s crowing achievement over the past decade or so. While the Ford Mustang 5.0 GT is the American brand’s first attempt at making the Mustang a proper sports car. So EVO magazine has decided to put both cars against each other in a drag race to see which is faster.
On paper, the two don’t really match up that well. The BMW M2 packs a 3.0 liter turbocharged I6 engine, that develops 365 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque (with overboost). On the other hand, the Mustang uses a 5.0 liter naturally-aspirated V8 that makes 410 hp and 391 lb-ft of torque. So the Mustang completely out muscles the M2 and it isn’t even close.
However, the M2 does have some advantages of its own. It’s considerably lighter than the ‘Stang, weighing in at 1,570 kg (3,461 lbs), compared to the Mustang’s 1,720 kg (3,781 lbs). It also, in this case, uses a super fast double-clutch gearbox while the Mustang makes do with an old-school six-speed manual. Manual transmissions are more fun, but they’re also quite a bit slower. So the M2 isn’t out of this fight just yet.
When the two pull up to the start line, they both engage launch control. For the BMW M2, that means that the brain of the car manages the clutches in the DCT gearbox, manages the differential, wheel spin and power to make sure that the M2 launches as quickly as possible. It also manages all of this through first gear, after which it then passes control over to the driver. The Mustang is a bit different, as it uses a manual gearbox. So you pick the engine rpm you want to launch at, press the clutch down, pin the throttle, the rpms will stay at the desired selection, dump the clutch and try to manage wheel spin yourself. It’s much more difficult and not as effective as BMW’s DCT system.
From the get-go, the M2 fries the Mustang off the line. The M2’s superior traction, turbocharged torque and fast-shifting DCT gearbox means it absolutely kills the Mustang after 30 mph and increases its lead all the way to the 1/2 mile mark. The BMW M2 gets from 0-60 mph in 4.1 seconds while it takes 4.8 for the Mustang to do the same. The M2 does the 1/4 mile in 12.7 seconds while the Mustang takes 13.4 and the M2 beats the Mustang again at the 1/2 mile mark with a 19.9 second time over the ‘Stang’s 20.9.
So, despite its power disadvantage, the BMW M2 absolutely crushes the Mustang in a drag race. It just goes to show that clever engineering beats raw power. We don’t know how well the M2 would fair with a six-speed manual, but it certainly wouldn’t be as quick as the DCT variant. Would it still beat the Mustang, maybe, considering that it’s 0-60 mph is still faster at 4.3 seconds. But there’s no two ways about it, the M2’s DCT is the reason why it won so handily.