When BMW debuted the M2 Competition, it actually launched a brand-new car with an engine that was otherwise being discontinued. The engine in the M2 Comp is actually the old S55 unit from the BMW M4, which is now dead. What’s odd is that the BMW M140i, which is an older can than the M2 Competition, actually has a new engine, BMW’s B58 engine, which powers current cars like the M340i and X3 M40i. The old S55 engine is more powerful but the B58 is more effective than its specs suggest and is actually better to use. So what happens when you put the two head-to-head?
In this new video from Joe Achilles, we actually get to see the BMW M2 Competition take on the BMW M140i, both with manual transmissions to keep things as fair as possible. What’s even more interesting about this comparison is that Achilles owns the M2 Competition but also used to own an M140i. So he knows the cars well. But which one is faster, both off the line and while rolling in gear?
First, let’s check the specs. The BMW M2 Competition is the more powerful car, so let’s check that one first. Its S55 engine is a 3.0 liter twin-turbocharged inline-six that makes 410 PS (405 horsepower) and 550 Nm (406 lb-ft). While the M140i’s B58 engine is a 3.0 liter single-turbocharged inline-six that makes 340 PS (335 horsepower) and 500 lb-ft (369 lb-ft) of torque. On paper, the B58 is seriously underpowered but it’s been a well-known overachiever since its debut, so it will be interesting to see how the two compete in the real world.
In a few different drag races, the two cars really put on an interesting show. The M2 Competition is, of course, faster in most instances. However, it isn’t always faster, as the B58-powered M140i steals a few wins back. Considering how much less power it has and how much cheaper the M140i is, those little wins are actually quite big. Also, a big part of the M2 Competition’s success was its traction, as its wider, stickier tires are also aided by a limited-slip diff. So the little B58 engine can seriously take on the more powerful, more expensive S55 developed by the M Division.