When the BMW M2 first debuted, it was the go-to M car for most enthusiasts. Its compact size, brawny looks and punchy personality made it the car that BMW fans wanted, even over the more powerful, more expensive M4. Still, the BMW M4 had the distinct advantage of being significantly more powerful and quite a bit faster. Now that the BMW M2 Competition is here, though, the M4’s offers less incentive to spend the extra money on it.
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The new BMW M2 Competition now has the same engine as the base model BMW M4. For ‘Competition’ duty, the M2 ditches its old N55 engine for the M4’s S55 unit. It’s still a 3.0 liter inline-six but now it has two turbochargers rather than one and makes 405 hp rather than 365. Still, the BMW M4 is more powerful, making 425 hp, but is 15 hp really worth the additional $11,000?
In terms of speed and performance, they’re basically deadlocked, doing the sprint from 0-60 mph in about 4 seconds, depending on the gearbox chosen. The BMW M2 Competition also gets the same new electronically-controlled limited-slip differential as the M4, giving it better handling through corners. Plus, most enthusiasts prefer the shorter wheelbase and sharper handling of the M2 over the M4.
There’s also the fact that the slightly less power, and BMW’s tuning of the M2 Competition to have its power come on gradually, gives the smaller M car an actual performance advantage, as it’s less spiky.
One of the bigger reasons customers would jump up to the M4 over the standard M2 was that it felt more like a proper M car. It had BMW M-style mirrors, upgraded seats and a bespoke M Division engine. Now, the BMW M2 Competition also has M4-style mirrors and the same seats from a standard M4. Plus, it has that same bespoke M Division engine. So the argument that the M2 is less of a proper M car is now negated.
So the question really is, why would you buy a BMW M4 over the M2 Competition? I’m struggling to find any real reasons. Sure, the M4 has a bigger back seat but not by much and I’m not sure it’s slightly extra size is worth $11,000. It also has a bigger trunk but, again, is that worth the upgrade? Yes, the M4’s interior is nicer and more premium but you don’t buy an M car for a nice interior, you buy an M car for performance and handling. The M2 is the better driver’s car, so that’s more important than some nicer interior materials. Plus, it’s not like the M2 Competition is a cow shed on the inside.
I have to be honest, in Competition Package-guise, I really like the BMW M4. It’s a great all-around daily sports car that’s very fun to drive, good looking and practical enough for daily life. However, there’s no chance I would buy one over the BMW M2 Competition. If there’s a real reason to go for the M4, I can’t see one.