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Hot Lapping the 2023 BMW M2 on a Race Track

2024 bmw m2
2023 BMW M2 - 2024 PCOTY Hot LapGreg Pajo

How much oversteer can you handle? Because the M2 is here to serve up as much as you want. Maybe more. Turn-in oversteer, power oversteer on exit… wow, does this car require some management. After the precision of the Integra and the secure bite of the NISMO, the M2 initially feels completely wild on track. So much so that it’s tricky to make it truly flow. The superb adjustable traction control system helps, but you need to dial back its intervention so as not to cut the ferocity of the engine too much. It’s a real balancing act.

Welcome to our PCOTY track notes. These are the stream-of-consciousness scrawlings from our resident hot shoe, editor-at-large Jethro Bovingdon, following his hot-lap sessions in each contender.

The good stuff—mostly the engine—is very good indeed. The M2 feels properly quick and the straight-six manages to be smooth and feral all at the same time. Some really hated the shift of the manual ‘box, but I didn’t have a problem with it at all. It’s no Type S in this regard, but a manual is to be celebrated wherever you find it. Brakes? Not bad but with this level of performance and so much weight to carry, the pedal never feels truly reassuring. Again, the Honda is much better here… which doesn’t seem right, does it?

What’s immediately obvious is that the M2 isn’t on a track-focussed tire. Unlike the Nissan or especially the Mustang, there just doesn’t seem to be the grip to lean on. The car feels like it’s gliding over the track, never far from slipping quickly into push or oversteer, where many of the other cars here are digging deep into the surface. But if you’re up for the challenge, the M2 is impossible not to enjoy. It slides everywhere but it’s not spiky, that engine is a constant source of encouragement, and the manual ‘box really makes you work.

Flawed but fun.

2024 bmw m2
Greg Pajo

About PCOTY hot laps:

Our lap times are simple. They are meant to inform us about how these cars perform on track, not to chase an elusive or ‘ultimate’ time that would require multiple sessions in each car. The laps were set after just a few sighting laps and no prior experience on the circuit. Unless a car didn’t get a fair shake, we did one out lap, three hot laps, and a cool-down. Whilst all the cars could go quicker, the times are representative. The delta between the cars would be consistent even with many more laps and sets of tires to burn through.

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