Mention the Ford Mustang among BMW enthusiasts and they’ll scoff at the American pony car. However, this current generation Mustang is actually a great sports car and one that’s absolutely more fun to drive on the road, especially in V8/manual-spec. However, on-road behavior and on-track behavior can be two very different things.
On paper, the BMW M440i xDrive shouldn’t be able to compete with the Mustang at the track. The M440i is almost 200 lbs heavier and has about 100 fewer horsepowers. So, on paper, the Ford Mustang Bullitt has an advantage. On track, though, how does the tidy German take on the wild American?
In this new video from Sport Auto, we get a cockpit view of a lap in each car; the BMW M440i xDrive and Ford Mustang Bullitt. Both cars were equipped with Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires, so it was about as fair of a track battle as possible.
Though the BMW had a distinct weight and power disadvantage, it fought back with a quicker-shifting ZF eight-speed gearbox and sticky all-wheel drive. However, its biggest advantage was its chassis.
Having driven the new Mustang, I can tell you it’s a blast on the road. But a technical track like Hockenheim exposes its chassis’ weaknesses, such as its surprising understeer on corner entry, snappy oversteer during corner exit, and its tendency to get squirrelly under braking. However, you can see in that the BMW M440i, despite being a comfy road car, is the far better athlete on track, with sharper turn-in, more stable braking, and tidier manners.
The M440i’s inherent chassis advantages allows it to actually be a second quicker than the Mustang at Hockenheim. Of course, on the road, I’d choose the Mustang six days out of seven, saving the M440i for a comfy road trip, due to the American’s burly, delicious V8 and six-speed manual. However, if you want something to quickly lap a track, the M440i is the better bet.