When BMW debuted the M2 competition, actually launched a brand new car with an engine that would otherwise have been discontinued. The engine of the M2 Comp is actually the old S55 unit of the BMW M4, which is now dead. The strange thing is that the BMW M140i, which is an older can than the M2 Competition, actually has a new engine, BMW’s B58 engine, which powers current cars such as the M340i and X3 M40i. The older S55 engine is more powerful, but the B58 is more effective than its specs suggest and is actually better to use. So what happens when you put the two heads up?
In this new video from Joe Achilles, we can actually see the BMW M2 Competition take on the BMW M140i, both with manual gearboxes to keep things as fair as possible. What’s even more interesting about this comparison is that Achille owns the M2 Competition but also owned an M140i. So he knows machines well. But which is faster, both off the line and while you’re in gear?
First, let’s check the specs. The BMW M2 Competition is the most powerful car, so let’s check that out first. Its S55 engine is a 3.0-liter twin-turbo inline six that produces 410 hp (405 horsepower) and 550 Nm (406 lb-ft). While the M140i’s B58 engine is a 3.0-liter single-turbo inline six that produces 340 hp (335 horsepower) and 500 lb-ft (369 lb-ft) of torque. On paper, the B58 is seriously underpowered, but it has been a well-known overachiever since its debut, so it will be interesting to see how the two compete in the real world.
In a few different endurance races, the two cars really put on an interesting show. The M2 competition is, of course, faster in most cases. However, it’s not always faster, as the B58-powered M140i steals some wins. Considering how much less horsepower it has and how much cheaper the M140i is, those small wins are actually pretty big. Additionally, a large part of the M2 Competition’s success has been its traction, as its wider, more grippy tires are also aided by a limited-slip differential. So the small B58 engine can take seriously the more powerful and expensive S55 developed by Division M.