When the Germans are trying too hard

Back in 2015, BMW did something really cool for old-school enthusiasts by launching the M2. A spiritual successor to the highly acclaimed 1M Coupe, the M2 is a tad smaller than the M4, and although it misses 60 horsepower and 63 pound-feet, it’s only three-tenths of a second slower to 60 mph and only six seconds slower on the Nurburgring. The M2 is the modern embodiment of the original M3, a status that the M4 will never benefit from. Things have just become a lot more serious for the M2 now, which climbed another step on the performance ladder with the Competition package.

Pops' Rants: Is the BMW M4 Worth it with the M2 Competition around?
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Powered by the 3.0-liter inline-six in the M4, the M2 Competition gains an extra 39 horsepower and 62 pound-feet of twist over the M2, which places the output at 404 horses and 406 pound-feet

The coupe is not yet official, but we’ve already seen leaked photos and specs, so we already know what it’s capable of. And, while it doesn’t look all that special on the outside, it packs a lot more punch under the hood. Powered by the 3.0-liter inline-six in the M4, the M2 Competition gains an extra 39 horsepower and 62 pound-feet of twist over the M2, which places the output at 404 horses and 406 pound-feet. That’s only 21 horsepower below the M4 and the same amount of torque. In a vehicle that’s slightly lighter than the M4.

Sure, the spec sheet says that the M2 Competition is still a tenth-second slower than the M4, but does it make that much of a difference? My point is, what’s BMW trying to do here? These two models are awfully close in terms of performance and the M2 - M4 affair has "cannibalization" written all over it. Of course, you can argue that the one of them is bigger and that some people want larger performance coupes, but the M4 is only 8.2 inches longer and 2.1 inches wider. It doesn’t make much of a difference inside the cabin. It’s not like you can fit an extra pair of seats in there and you gain less than eight inches of legroom in the front and the rear.

Pops' Rants: Is the BMW M4 Worth it with the M2 Competition around?
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The M2 Competition will also cost less than the M4

The M2 Competition will also cost less than the M4. There’s no pricing information right now, but it will be at least $5,000 more affordable. So why pay more for the M4? For the extra 21 horses? For getting to 60 mph a tenth-second quicker? The slightly different looks? Well, some might pick the M4 for that, but it’s not something that makes sense in the long run. Why not go with the car that pays tribute to the original M3 coupe that everyone seems to want nowadays? Especially since the M2 Competition will be limited to just 1,000 units, which will give it a collectors’ item status?

If BMW doesn’t roll out an update for the M4, the larger coupe will become somewhat redundant in the lineup with the M2 Competition around. Sure, the latter won’t be around for long given the limited-edition status, but it still counts as a sign that big automakers are willing to let models from different markets cannibalize each other just to prove a point. Well, why not make the M4 the more luxurious compact of the performance lineup and assign the M2 to keeping the old M3 coupe flame alive? It could work if BMW weren’t so quick to prove a point in every single niche.

References

2017 BMW M2 Competition Exterior Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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Read our full speculative review on the 2019 BMW M2 Competition.

2016 - 2018 BMW M2 High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 BMW M2.

2018 BMW M4 High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2018 BMW M4.

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