The BMW M2 competition has not changed in the eight months since my friend Andrew Krok. But in the wake of limited running Captured headlines and attention, I felt the competition was worth watching again. It may not have CS ̵
According to the figures, there is not much of a performance difference between the two M2s. Both use BMW’s 3.0-liter twin-turbo I6 and have an identical torque of 406 pounds. The competition of 405 hp is down to 39 hp compared to CS, but it hardly makes a difference. In fact, with the standard six-speed manual transmission, BMW quotes the same 4-second 0 to 60 mph time for both cars.
The pair is starting to stand out with the optional seven-speed dual-clutch automatic, which has unique gearing and a different final drive for each M2. The result is a 3.8-second 0 to 60-time for CS and a 4.2-second run for the competition. (Yes, DCT CS is faster than the manual, but the competition is reversed.) This 0.4 second difference is definitely not for nothing, but come on, when will there be less than a half second second gap ever in the real world?
BMW’s Adaptive M suspension gives the CS a bit of an advantage, so you can switch between comfort, sport and Sport Plus settings to increase punx on winding roads. But on the highway or around town, these settings can just as easily be called Stiff, Really Stiff, and why the hell is this so stiff? There are definitely handling benefits, but CS is a lot tougher to live with every day.
The competition is also not exactly a shiny beacon of comfort, but its fixed dampers provide a good compromise between tight and compatible. There is enough cushion for pushin ‘to reduce bouncing extensions on the highway, but the chassis keeps the body rolling in check while the M2 hangs on around the hairpin turns. The competition’s softer suspension will surely keep it one step behind the M2 CS on a race track, no doubt, but at the same time it makes the M2 more playful. The competition tends to shoot your little ass out if you feel hooliganistic, and I appreciate when sports cars are not so focused on precision that they lose their wild side.
My ideal setup would actually be an M2 competition equipped with CS ‘Michelin Pilot Sport Cup 2 tires, since these are some of the best performance rubbers you can buy today, and they account for a large part of CS’ handling edge. The competition’s Pilot Super Sports are fine, don’t get me wrong, but I feel the combination of a less aggressive suspension and sticker tires would be a real win-win. Fortunately, a set of Cup 2s is just onegone. However, CS ‘gold wheels can be a little harder to obtain.
My last dance with the M2 Comp involves a 400-mile day trip through Southern California, starting in Los Angeles and going over the Santa Barbara Mountains after a quick lunch in Ojai. From there it is just west of the Carrizo plain to the highway 101, followed by dinner (and a cheese danish) in the cute little town of Solvang. Finally, a long drive down the Pacific coast at sunset, covers this perfect SoCal day.
Mile after mile the competition shines. Even on the hairier sections of Highway 33 north of Ojai, I’m not looking for CS. Do I want the Cup 2 tires? Heck. But the competition’s balanced chassis, excellent steering and plenty of power make the gap run. I would admit that the competition can use CS ‘carbon ceramic brakes, as M2’s steel stops lack consistent pedal feel and strong stopping power while driving fast downhill. But these ceramics also cost $ 8,500, so it’s not like they’s standard CS sets.
The other differences are quite insignificant: the CS is 55 pounds lighter than the competition, and the small aerodynamic additions look cool, but do not make much of a difference to public road speeds. Inside, the CS gets Alcantara trim while the Competition settles for leather, but if you’re like me, the steering wheel wrapped in suede is a huge demerit (because they’re rough). CS has better seat strength, but the competition seats are more comfortable. Oh, and CS does not have the center armrest, so it is not an easy place to put the phone or tchotchkes. But hey, 55 pounds.
Without a doubt, the biggest factor in the corner of the competition is the starting price: $ 59,895 including $ 995 for destination. Add to that the test car’s Executive Package of $ 1200 (wireless charging, heated steering wheel, adaptive LED headlights, etc.) and $ 2900 dual clutch, and that puts it at $ 64,545. M2 CS? It starts $ 20,000 higher – and that’s before you add DCT or carbon brakes.
None of this I try to paint M2 CS in low light; it’s a great car, and a hell of a swan song for the current 2 Series coupe. It’s also already out of production, so it’s kind of a point. I just remind you that CS is not all-end-all of M2 greatness. The competition is anything but a consolation prize.