In the battle of S55-engined siblings, who comes out on top?

Would it be fair to say that the BMW M2 Competition is the most exciting M-car in recent years? As special as the BMW M2 Coupé was, the new M2 Competition takes things to a whole new level with its track tuned suspension, aggressive looks and its new powerplant that comes straight out of the M4.

Sure it’s been detuned, but even in this state, the S55 3.0-litre twin-turbo inline-six produces 30kw and 50nm more than the old N55-engined M2, for a total output of 302kw and 550nm. While it might be difficult to see the difference these updates have made, the best place yardstick to gauge any improvement would be a race track. And in this case, the Nürburgring would certainly do. Whereas the M2 Coupe managed a best lap of 7:58, the M2 Competition posted a brilliant 7:50 - quicker than the F10 M5 Competition and the M4 Coupe.

But what about straight-line performance you ask? True Speed recently tested the M2 Competition M-DCT at the Gerotek Testing Facility just outside Pretoria, and the results certainly speak volumes about the updates over the M2 Coupe M-DCT. For starters, the M2 Competition ran the benchmark 0-100kph sprint in 4.4 seconds and dusted the ¼ mile in 12.53 seconds with an exit speed of 186.88kph. By comparison, the M2 Coupe needed 4.44 seconds and 12.79 seconds to complete the ¼ mile.

Predictably, the 317kw M4 Coupe edges both of them needing 4.08 seconds and 12.13 seconds respectively. However, comparing the exit speeds of the three paints a slightly different picture, with the M2 Coupe travelling at 175.82kph and the M4 Coupe at 190.70kph, which suggests that the improvements to the M2 Competition are more apparent at higher speeds. Tractability tests actually show that from 60-100kph, 80-120kph and 100-200kph, the M2 Competition posts almost identical times to the M4 Coupe.

As a wild card, we decided to factor in the most powerful S55 car available – the M4 GTS. With 368kw and 600nm from its S55, it streaks from 0-100kph in 3.94 seconds, blasts through the ¼ mile in 12.08 seconds at 192.61kph, and maxes out at 291.68kph (M2 Competition reached 287.58kph). Figures that hardly embarrass the rather competent M2 Competition. And when you factor in that BMW South Africa sold the M4 GTS for R2 203 900 in 2016, and retails the M2 Competition from R972 030, its clear evidence that there are few vehicles under a million Rands that can rival the M2 Competition for true bang-for-buck thrills.

However, all those stats are merely independent tests, and the figures should merely be used as a guideline. What will happen when the M2 Competition finds itself lining up against the more powerful M4 Competition though? While we know that the regular M4 should outrun the slightly heavier M2 Competition, could a wet track level the field when the M2 Competition squares up to the M4 Competition? Although both have the same amount of torque (550nm), the R1 462 161 M4 Competition’s S55 produces 338kw compared to the M2 Competition’s 302kw.

Can the M2 Competition hold its own against its more powerful sibling?

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