Even though the 2 Series range is topped by the BMW M2, the guys from Car and Driver picked a different car from the range for this year’s Lightning Lap event. Their weapon of choice was a BMW M240i therefore an M Performance Automobile, cementing the growing importance this division of cars has within the BMW range. Furthermore, they went for a manual, rear-wheel drive model, the way the automotive Gods intended these cars to be in the first place.

By doing so, they basically went for the slowest offering in the range. The manual, RWD BMW M240i comes with the same engine as other cars in BMW’s range such as the 540i for example, being animated by a B58 3-liter straight six configuration with 340 HP and 500 Nm (369 lb-ft) of torque. However, due to all of it being sent to the rear axle and some understandable loss of traction, the 0-62 mph sprint takes 4.8 seconds, whereas the automatic is 0.2 seconds faster and the xDrive version another 0.2 seconds ahead.

Nevertheless, this is also the lightest M240i you can get, being 15 kilos lighter than the ZF-equipped model and 85 kilos lighter than the all-wheel drive version. Would that come in handy? Well, as you’re about to see, the M240i did set some of the fastest entry and average speeds around the track. In various corners it either carried the most speed going into them or leaving them, showing that carrying less weight does pay off.

However, in the end, its limited track prowess did make itself noticed as the Camaro 1LE with its V6 engine proved to be quite faster. Nonetheless, the full-on M model BMW M2 the guys from Car and Driver drove on the same track in 2016 proved its worth by being faster than both the Camaro and M240i by a considerable amount, finishing one lap in 3:01.9, 2.1 seconds faster than the Chevy and 6.1 seconds ahead of the M240i.