The BMW M2 has its usual competition. Cars like the Audi RS3 Mercedes-AMG A45 will always be its main competitors. However, there will also be some… dark horse candidates. Okay, so that was a cheeky foreshadowing pun. But the BMW M2 will have an interesting competitor in the new Mustang Dark Horse and we’re here to check out their looks.

Put brand snobbery aside and you’ll realize that the Mustang Dark Horse offers more power and just as much track-ready performance (if not more) for around the same money. Plus, it uses a big stonking V8, rather than a relatively puny I6, with a much better soundtrack. So it might not have the premium cabin of the M2 but it won’t lack in thrill factor. Let’s check ’em out.

Up Front

BMW M2 Mustang Dark Horse 2 830x830

So I’m a bit conflicted on this one. Neither car is particularly pretty up front. The BMW M2’s grille is odd, its front air intakes are too boxy, and it’s a bit too over-styled. However, the Mustang is also a bit over-styled and it has its own issues. I think I like the Mustang a bit more up front because of its slim headlights, it’s kick-ass hood scoop, and simpler grille. But it’s a narrow victory.

From the Side

BMW M2 Mustang Dark Horse 3 830x830

This one’s pretty easy for me. The Mustang takes the win here. It’s such a traditionally good looking coupe in profile, with a long hood,  short rear deck, muscular rear fender flares, bang-on proportions, and a really fun rear wing. It’s a beautiful car from the side and will continue to look great for decades to come. The BMW M2, ironically, has a lot of those same traits but there are too many awkward design elements, like the oddly flat hood, the abrupt right-angle end to its rear fender flare, and super upright front end. Don’t get me wrong, the M2 looks good from the side but this really is a case of one car looks good while the other looks great.

Out Back

Both cars have slightly awkward rear ends. The BMW M2’s taillights are still odd and its rear bumper, the way it has flanking fangs of sorts at either end, is just strange. The Mustang is a bit less odd but the way its taillights are sort of concave kinda bothers me. They also look too small. Neither car is bad, neither car is great, they just both have sorta “meh” butts. However, the Mustang wins it because of that killer rear wing. How do you not see that thing in the morning and grin like a childish hooligan.

Inside

The BMW M2 wins here, it’s pretty easy. Both cars suffer from a  wall-of-screens dashboard design but the Mustang’s is even more offensive than BMW’s. The M2’s screens are fairly small compared to the Dark Horse’s, which makes the wall seem less obstructive. On the Mustang, that wall-of-screens seems massive and takes up the entire dashboard view. It also just seems a bit humdrum inside, whereas the M2 looks a bit more special, especially with those awesome seats. The ‘Stang gets cool Recaros, which will be nice, but the M2’s seats look better. Although, one feature of the Mustang is so cool that it single-handidly almost made me choose it over the M2—its retro gauges. You can choose a digital recreation of the Fox-body Mustang’s gauges from the ’80s in the gauge cluster and that’s awesome. More brands should do that (ahem, BMW).

Overall

The Mustang Dark Horse is the better looking car. It just is. It’s more of a classic sports car, it’s long, it’s muscular, it’s seductive, it’s everything enthusiasts want in a sports car, design-wise. The M2