The BMW M2 and XM are two very different cars, with distinct differences in engine, power outputs, weight, and most obviously, body type. But they have one thing in common: they are both BMW M cars.

The BMW XM is the top-spec M car today and the successor to the legendary yet unsuccessful M1. With electrification involved, the XM is expected to be at the pinnacle of M performance, but is it really the case? The M2 wants to prove otherwise in a drag race with a very important factor up its sleeve. How do the two cars compare on paper, though?

Gallery: 2023 BMW M2: First Drive Review

Starting with the engine, the M2 has a twin-turbo 3.0-liter straight-six engine, while the XM has a larger twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 engine paired with an electric motor. The XM's power output of 644 horsepower and 590 pound-feet (800 Newton-meters) of torque is significantly higher than the M2's 454 hp and 406 lb-ft (550 Nm).

In terms of transmission, both cars have an 8-speed automatic gearbox with a torque converter, but the M2 is also available with a manual transmission. As a huge clincher, the XM also has an all-wheel drivetrain, which is not available in the M2.

The XM obviously has the advantage off the line with all of its paws kicking. But as mentioned, the M2 is significantly lighter, which should be a factor beyond the kickoff. The M2 weighs in at 3,803 pounds (1,725 kilograms), while the XM tips the scales at 5,975 lbs (2,710 kg). That weight, of course, can be attributed to the SUV's bigger body, AWD system, and the hybrid system's electric motor and batteries.

With these things laid out, does the less powerful M2 stand a chance against the mighty yet porky XM? The drag race above tells the story in full, including rolling starts and brake test comparisons. At this point, what we can say is that the results would have been different if it was the XM Label Red at the starting line.

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