The M2 is the mightier 2 Series but don't underestimate the AWD M240i.
For those of us looking for that old connection to the classic BMW driving experience of yesteryear, the BMW M2 is a solid option. In M2 Competition trim, the feisty coupe is fairly lightweight but more importantly can be ordered with a six-speed manual box mated to RWD. But however quaint those connections to BMW legacy models may be, the modern transmissions and AWD xDrive technology mean that an acceleration test might favor the new school in the contest. This is where drag races and roll races on video capture the struggle between the raw power of the M2 Comp DCT RWD and the grip of the M240i xDrive both in 'auto mode' and stock trim.
And that is just what this real-world video test set out to demonstrate, revealing that a close match of performance numbers doesn't always add up on the street.
In the power department, not much separates these 2-series BMWs. At 382 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque, the BMW M240i xDrive doesn't give much ground to the BMW M2 Comp. Rated at 405 hp with 406 lb-ft, the M2 Competition has nice torque and outstanding driving dynamics considering it weighs only 3,600 pounds. Predictably, the M240i's xDrive system gains weight at 3,871 pounds and has a dose of driveline drag too.
The tech edge is most certainly seen on video with the advanced launch capabilities of the AWD-equipped 'lesser' trim. In round one, the M240i xDrive gets the hole-shot with traction off and leaves the M2 Comp lagging behind.
When set in Sport+ mode with DSC switched off, the M2 Comp is able to match the rapid acceleration of the xDrive. After losing or even being too close for many non-AWD cars in a no-prep street race, the drivers always want to roll-race immediately afterward. Ask me how I know!
The BMW M2 Competition has an advantage in a roll race, the aforementioned weight reduction, the drag reduction and amazing DCT transmission is inside an M-Car, so it's designed to fly. As expected, the M2 Comp lays a solid slap down on the M240i xDrive twice, once from 30 mph and again from 62 mph. But back to the real world, let's not forget these engines have the same displacement and similar architecture. Translation: a slightly modified turbo 3.0-liter in the M240i xDrive would likely reverse the outcome of a roll race or cause the M2 trouble in less than ideal conditions with AWD from a dig.