The new BMW M2 is fast around a track, which will come as a surprise to anyone living under a rock. The second-generation G87 model just set a record around the Nürburgring in the compact class segment, beating the likes of the Audi RS3 and the old M2 with a time of 7:38.706. This isn't an all-out track record, to be clear, but it's still impressive for what it is.
The automaker posted a video of the complete lap around the Nürburgring Nordschleife, which is the classic road course, not the modern GP circuit on which Formula 1 cars more recently raced. Its time puts it ahead of its competitors, as well as the old M2. The old F87 M2 Competition—not even the standard model—set a time of 7:52.36. Unfortunately for BMW, the gap to the previous record-holding Audi is not as wide. In 2021, an RS3 in the same class ran a 7:40.748. On the 'Ring, two seconds is practically within the margin of error.
BMW's record is not like Audi's, though. The M2 that set the record was only fitted with parts that normal BMW customers can actually buy, according to the manufacturer. The Audi, in contrast, was fully caged with a rear seat delete, racing buckets, and more, as Bridge to Gantry pointed out at the time that run was published. Still, though, it's feasible that Audi could come back with a special-edition RS3 and beat its rival's time. This could of course translate into millions of dollars spent in a pretty meaningless competition, but don't put it by the Germans.
Despite the new M2's impressive record, it's not quite the same as the first-generation car. Today's "compact" 2 Series is more like a shortened 4 Series, and it weighs up near 4,000 pounds as a result. It's balanced out by its impressive six-cylinder engine which churns out 453 horsepower as well as an optional stick, but it's not really enough to make the car feel like an appropriate last hurrah. All of this being said, it's a manual, rear-wheel drive coupe in an era when those are disappearing. It's still worth buying, especially considering the fact that it's around $15,000 cheaper than an M4.
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