The guys from Car and Driver got together some of the best driving cars launched this year for what they call the Lighting Lap 2016. This exercise aims to see which car is the fastest around the Virginia International Raceway. One of them was the brand new BMW M2 which surprised their reviewers with its lap time.

That’s because it was one of the cars with the least amount of power under the hood. Its 370 PS and maximum torque of 500 Nm (369 lb-ft) thanks to overboost could’ve easily proved to be too little. However, it’s not all about raw power but also about how you put it down, and the M2 is a master at that. The “baby-M” posted a lap time of 3:01.9 minutes, being faster than the incredibly powerful Dodge Charger Hellcat and the Jaguar F-Type Project 7, but slower than the Audi R8 V10 plus by almost five seconds.


The driver of the M2 points out a couple of things he’s seen during the fast runs. For example, BMW is actually faster than the R8 through some bends, even though the two cars have totally different characters. The R8 wins it in the end but most of the credit has to go to the long straights the Virginia International Raceway has, which favors horsepower.

What impressed the guys the most was the fact that unlike 16 of the 18 cars tested on VIR, the M2 actually defied heat and posted its best result in the afternoon, while using thrashed tires. Most of the cars found the cool air of the mornings a bit more comforting, posting their fastest lap times in the morning of the third day, but not the BMW M2. The Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires also proved to be quite worthy of their high price tag, delivering great performance throughout the three days of lapping. We can’t help but wonder what the lap time would’ve been if they used a 7-speed DCT model instead of the manual one.