The BMW M2 and Ford Mustang are dinosaurs (in a good way) in the sports car realm. Both still appeal to purists with their manual gearboxes. Despite the downsizing era we’re living in, Bavaria’s G87 gets you an inline-six while Dearborn’s pony car rocks a V8. Car and Driver orchestrated a duel between the two, deciding to try out the three-pedal versions.

While far from being the analog cars their ancestors were, the M2 and ‘Stang represent the last bastion for RWD machines with stick shifts. They’re not perfect, though. C&D says the BMW’s optional carbon bucket seats are not comfortable. In addition, gear shifts are not as crisp as they are on the Ford. The journalists also preferred the soundtrack delivered by the big ol’ NA 5.0 over the twin-turbo 3.0-liter mill.

The Mustang has its fair share of downsides as well. Outward visibility is less than ideal while fuel consumption leaves a lot to be desired. It did 14 miles per gallon whereas the M2 did 18 mpg. In addition, there were some issues with the infotainment during the test. The touchscreen was slow to start and respond to the user’s inputs. There was also some noticeable distortion while streaming music.

On the plus side, the new M2 was praised for being easier to live with daily. The muscle delivered by the “S58” is more accessible and the car is “as quick as techno.” C&D appreciated the styling of the Mustang and its more comfortable seats. Moreover, they also liked the pony car’s brakes.

In the acceleration test, the M2 needed 4.1 seconds to hit 60 mph. As for the Mustang, it took 4.3 seconds to get the job done. The compact BMW was also quicker to the quarter mile, achieved in 12.3 seconds at 119 mph. The Dark Horse took 12.7 seconds at a slightly lower trap speed of 115 mph. In the 50 to 70 mph evaluation, the M2 only needed 6.7 seconds whereas the Mustang was 2.5 seconds slower.

The BMW ultimately took the win by being more refined and comfortable. C&D also felt it was easier to drive at full tilt. However, the journalists completely understand why some people will get the Mustang for its brawny V8.

Source: Car and Driver