BMW M2 versus M4: Sibling Rivalry

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After testing the BMW M2 and M4, we were surprised that the M2 posted effectively identical test numbers to the M4’s despite a 60-hp deficit and tires 10mm narrower at each corner. The M4 pulls a significant lead in acceleration at higher speeds, where its rear tires aren’t overwhelmed by the thrust of its more powerful engine. Combining that with its longer wheelbase, we estimated the M4 would be much faster than the M2 around a racetrack.

We were wrong. The M2 proved to be the faster car. This is the difference that intangibles make. This M4, although far better than previous M4s we’ve driven, was a handful to control at its limit. With very little understeer and laggy turbos that hit with a brutal punch, it snap-oversteers on the way out of corners. The M2 understeers more but puts power down far more easily. Importantly, its engine and rear end respond linearly to the requests for power, making it far easier to control, even for a seasoned veteran like Randy Pobst. In his supremely talented hands, the M2 was 0.21 second quicker around Streets. In yours or mine, that difference would be far greater.

Read the 2016 BMW M2 First Test review HERE.

Two is Greater Than Four The M4 keeps the M2 astern until the pair hit Turn 8’s Bowl section. It tries to reel in the smaller Bimmer down the back straight, but it’s nothing but taillights to the finish. 2015 BMW M4 2016 BMW M2 (European Spec) BASE PRICE $65,195 $52,695 PRICE AS TESTED $77,495 $53,245 VEHICLE LAYOUT Front-engine, RWD, 4-pass, 2-door coupe Front-engine, RWD, 4-pass, 2-door coupe ENGINE 3.0L/425-hp/406-lb-ft twin-turbo DOHC 24-valve I-6 3.0L/365-hp/343-lb-ft turbo DOHC 24-valve I-6 TRANSMISSION 6-speed manual 6-speed manual CURB WEIGHT (F/R DIST) 3,512 lb (52/48%) 3,411 lb (52/48%) WHEELBASE 110.7 in 106.0 in LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT 184.5 x 73.6 x 54.4 in 176.2 x 73.0 x 55.5 in 0-60 MPH 4.2 sec 4.2 sec QUARTER MILE 12.5 sec @ 116.5 mph 12.8 sec @ 107.5 mph BRAKING, 60-0 MPH 108 ft 107 ft LATERAL ACCELERATION 1.00 g (avg) 1.01 g (avg) MT FIGURE EIGHT 24.1 sec @ 0.82 g (avg) 24.1 sec @ 0.82 g (avg) EPA CITY/HWY/COMB FUEL ECON 17/26/20 mpg 18/27/21 mpg (est) ENERGY CONS, CITY/HWY 198/130 kW-hrs/100 miles 187/125 kW-hrs/100 miles CO2 EMISSIONS, COMB 0.96 lb/mile 0.92 lb/mile