The BMW M2 earned a following thanks to its powerful six-cylinder engine and incredible handling. It's a special car and a topic of debate among BMW fans as to which version is the best. That's what primed Carwow's latest quarter-mile showdown, which features a face-off among every BMW M2 model ever made.
It starts with the BMW 1M. While not technically an M2, it is the genesis of the 2 Series and shares the same architecture. It's powered by a 340 horsepower 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged inline-six coupled to a six-speed manual transmission. Weighing in at 3,295 pounds (1,495 kilograms), it's the least powerful but lightest car in the race.
Gallery: 2023 BMW M2: First Drive Review
Moving on to the original BMW M2, we have a heavier but more powerful car. Weighing in at 3,351 pounds (1,520 kg), it produces 370 horsepower from its 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six and uses a dual-clutch automatic gearbox.
Next up is the BMW M2 Competition, a harder-edged version of the M2. From the same 3.0 liters of displacement, it cranks out 410 horsepower and uses a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. It's got the most power in the first race but is also the heaviest at 3,472 pounds (1,575 kg).
The second race is a matchup between the winner of the first series against the BMW M2 CS and the newest version of the M2. On paper, the M2 CS and new M2 are more closely matched. The M2 CS puts down 450 horsepower to the M2's 460 horses, both using the 3.0-liter inline-six. But the M2 CS transfers power to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual transmission, while the M2 uses a seven-speed automatic. Yet while the M2 CS weighs 3,417 pounds (1,550 kg), the new M2 tips the scales at 3,802 (1,725 kg).
The BMW 1M proved surprisingly quick in the first series, keeping up with the original BMW M2, but both cars are no match for the M2 Competition. The combination of the most power with the lightning-quick gear changes from the dual-clutch gearbox allowed the M2 Competition to make short work of its rivals.
In the second series, the newest M2 comes out on top. Even though it weighs more than the M2 CS while making slightly more power, the automatic gearbox makes all the difference. The latest M2 pulls away quickly and never looks back.