It’s down on power slightly, but it’s got the Alpha platform and proven 1LE handling package to boast.
The BMW M2 gets so much hype from just about everyone in the automotive industry that it can lead one to believe that it’s the dominant car in the class of midrange rear-wheel drive coupes meant for times when a limited bank stash stifles an M4 purchase but does not force a Toyota GT 86 compromise. In attempts to recreate the BMW M4 vs Chevrolet Camaro SS race with cheaper cars, Motor Trend decided to put the BMW M2 to the test against a Chevy Camaro LT 1LE.
The BMW needs no introduction, but the Camaro shouldn’t either. The problem is that the Camaro has a 3.6-liter V6 and not the gurgling 6.2-liter V8 from the SS, meaning it makes 335 horsepower, 30 ponies shy of the BMW’s 365 horsepower output. Still, the 1LE package has earned its fame.
Before it became an option on the ZL1 Camaro, it was responsible for turning Chevy’s least powerful muscle car into a true track performer. Underpinned by GM’s highly regarded Alpha platform, this Camaro is ready to munch up corners and spit out lap times like it was nobody’s business. While Jonny Lieberman and Jason Cammisa both mention how much bigger the loud Camaro is over the M2, the real differentiating factor between the two ends up being the engine. Not necessarily that the BMW’s engine is so much better, just that the Camaro’s 3.6-liter V6 is as unimpressive as they come. Next time it's best to bring the engine Chevy engineers actually spent their time on, the V8.