It's much closer than you might think.
The BMW M2 CS and the Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 are among the very best of each German manufacturer's respective offerings. They offer incredible performance and the fact that each is available with a manual gearbox makes them so much sweeter. They're very closely matched on paper although the driving experience of each is different. The M2 CS has 444 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque from its 3.0-liter straight-six twin-turbo that is borrowed from the M4 Competition while the Cayman has 414 hp and 309 lb-ft. But even the previous 981 generation of the GT4 proves to be a strong match for the more powerful M2 CS. Despite having a 3.8-liter flat-six that makes just 380 hp and 309 lb-ft, the Porsche evens the playing field a little with just 3,042 pounds of weight versus the Bimmer's 3,583. Which wins?
Interestingly, neither car has a perfect launch. In the case of the BMW, some power will have been held back since the car was in M Dynamic Mode rather than with all electronic aids off while the Porsche relied purely on the skill of its driver - the not too unskilled Tiff Needell - and lit up the tires a little. Despite the weight deficit, the M2 CS pulls ahead very slightly, but the greater rev range of the GT4 means that it comes back just a little. In the end, it's power that wins and the older GT4 settles for second. As the presenters in the video note, the 2021 GT4 has a 4.0-liter engine that produces 414 hp, so a rerun may be in order.
It would be interesting to see the race attempted with the new GT4, preferably with both the Porsche and the Bimmer sporting dual-clutch automatic gearboxes to eliminate any driver error. Fortunately for those who prefer their left leg to remain idle, both the M2 CS and now the Cayman GT4 can be had with flappy paddles. Whatever the outcome of such a race - which will likely occur sooner rather than later - anyone who owns either of these cars will surely be more than happy with their purchase. If not, our garage always has room for a driver-focused sports car and we'll gladly accept your gracious donation.