Which car wins?

BMW just unveiled the M2 Competition, a significant upgrade to the already familiar M2. Sporting exclusive features inside and out and a turbocharged engine borrowed from the M4, the M2 Competition is a big step forward for the nameplate on the performance ladder and may open the door to a more track-prepped version in the future. With more than 400 horsepower at its disposal, the M2 Competition seems ready to take on the heavyweights of the performance market, starting with the Porsche 718 Cayman GTS. Does it have what it takes to go against Stuttgart’s mid-engined sports car? Let’s find out in the comparison below.

Continue reading for the full story.

BMW M2 Competition vs Porsche Cayman GTS: Exterior

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While the M2 boasts a more massive fascia, the Cayman has a sloping front hood and a sharper nose

The two cars are radically different up front, mostly because of their engine layouts. While the M2 boasts a more massive fascia due to the engine being mounted atop the front wheels, the Cayman has a sloping front hood and a sharper nose. The Cayman GTS also benefits from that traditional sports car look, whereas the M2 Competition is mostly just a regular coupe. It has all the cool M features, but it’s still a boxy coupe at the end of the day.

The Cayman is sleeker around back too. There’s no traditional deck lid, while the hood is pretty much a shooting brake-style tailgate. The mid-mounted engine also makes the rear fenders wider than usual, which is a big plus if you like the classic sports car stance. Now the M2 Competition is far from boring when seen from the rear, but much like the front end, the rear fascia is also boxy, so it all depends on what you really want from your performance car.

Needless to say, the Cayman’s significantly sleeker design is even more noticeable from the sides. Although it doesn’t necessarily sit closer to the ground, the Porsche has a lower roof and a lower seating position. All told, it’s pretty obvious that the Cayman was designed as a full-fledged sports car, while the M2 Competition is based on a mundane coupe.

BMW M2 Competition vs Porsche Cayman GTS: Interior

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The Cayman GTS has a lower driving position, and it only provides seating for two

Once again, we’re looking at different design approaches forced by the engine layout and the body style of each car. If we ignore the styling, the two are separated by only a couple of key features. The Cayman GTS has a lower driving position that’s typical to full-fledged sports cars and it only provides seating for two. Granted, the M2’s rear seats are exactly comfortable, but hey, you can squeeze up to three people in there.

Design-wise, both are based on lower-spec models and come with extra standard features. The Bimmer, for instance, has a bespoke instrument cluster, "M2 Competition" badges, and carbon-fiber trim. The upholstery is also unique to this model, being available with either blue or orange accents. The bucket seats are optional though, so you need to open your wallet a little more to get the works.

2019 BMW M2 Competition Interior
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and M-Sports Seats
Design-wise, both are based on lower-spec models and come with extra standard features

By comparison, the Cayman GTS is equipped with the sports seats with integrated headrests as standard. The "GTS" logo embroidered above and the contrast stitching give it an exclusive vibe. The instrument cluster also comes with extras, including a center clock with a red face and "GTS" lettering. Just like the Bimmer, the GTS’ cabin includes carbon-fiber trim, with the lightweight composite visible on the dashboard, the center console, and the door panels. Options for the Porsche include the Navigation Module Package and the Sport Chrono Package, which also includes the Porsche Track Precision App.

All told, both vehicle have all the modern tech you need in a car nowadays, but the Cayman GTS comes with the little extras for track use. The lower driving position also helps at the race course. On the other hand, the Bimmer provides seating for at least two more people in the rear and its trunk is obviously bigger.

BMW M2 Competition vs Porsche Cayman GTS: Performance

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A naturally aspirated model since day one, the Cayman took the forced induction path

While design and equipment are a matter of taste, there’s no arguing with figures. We’re down to the greasy bits and to settle which car faster and more powerful.

A naturally aspirated model since day one, the Cayman took the forced induction path during its most recent update. Porsche replaced the previous six-cylinder with a pair of flat-four units. A 2.0-liter for the base model and a 2.5-liter for the Cayman S. The GTS version uses the latter, but with a bit of extra oomph over the Cayman S. Specifically, the mill cranks out 365 horsepower in this configuration, while torque varies depending on the transmission. While the manual model comes with 309 pound-feet, the PDK-equipped variant benefits from 317 pound-feet.

2019 BMW M2 Competition Drivetrain
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With 404 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque
The M2 Competition is also turbocharged, but it uses a six-cylinder instead of a four-banger

The M2 Competition is also turbocharged, but despite its relatively small size, it uses a six-cylinder instead of a four-banger. Unlike its non-Competition predecessor, though, the new M2 gets its juice from an engine that’s almost identical to what you find in the M4. The 3.0-liter unit is tuned to generate 404 horsepower and 406 pound-feet, only 19 horses below the M4. Compared to the Cayman GTS, the M2 Competition is clearly the more powerful coupe, boasting an extra 39 horsepower and 89 pound-feet. But is horsepower enough to run faster in a straight line or the race track?

2019 BMW M2 Competition Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Despite being more powerful, the M2 Competition is the slower car to 62 mph

Not in this case. Weight, dynamics, and engine layout are equally important and they make a big difference here. Despite being more powerful, the M2 Competition is the slower car to 62 mph. While the quickest version of the M2 gets to the benchmark in 4.2 seconds, the Cayman GTS fitted with the PDK needs four clicks to achieve the same speed. That’s two tenths you can’t ignore. The Cayman GTS also wins the top speed battle at 180 mph. The M2 Competition hits 155 mph in standard trim and 174 mph with the optional M Driver’s Package.

There’s no instrumented test of two cars on the race track, but it’s safe to assume that the Cayman GTS would smoke the M2 Competition on any given circuit.

Final Thoughts

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The M2 Competition and the Cayman GTS do compete in the same niche, but only because there aren’t many other similar offerings here. With the Audi TT-RS significantly quicker from 0 to 62 mph, the Bimmer and the Porsche remain as the only two cars that are pretty close performance-wise. But beyond the numbers, they are actually very different. While the M2 is a beefed-up version of the mundane 2 Series, the Cayman GTS is based on a vehicle developed as a true sports car. Then there’s the engine layout. The Bimmer retains the front-engined configuration of almost all BMWs available right now, while the Cayman benefits from the modern sports car layout with the powerplant placed behind the seats. Some would say that the Cayman has the engine in the right place. I stil think it’s a matter of taste and what you want from a performance car, but yes, the mid-engined configuration makes for a better sports car. If you’re into weekends at the race track, the Cayman GTS is definitely the better option. If you want the performance, but you still need a daily driver with room for at least four people and a decent trunk, then the M2 Competition is the way to go.

References

2019 BMW M2 Competition Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Read our full speculative review 2019 BMW M2 Competition.

Comparison: 2018 BMW M2 Competition vs 2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Read our full review on the 2018 Porsche 718 Cayman GTS.

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Read more BMW news.

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Read more Porsche news.

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