2022 BMW M240i xDrive Autocross Review: All the M2 You Need
2022 BMW M240i xDrive Coupe autocross course review highlights:
- I recently raced a 2022 BMW M240i xDrive Coupe around an autocross course at Road America
- Its steering isn’t communicative, but overall, the coupe is an excellent sports car that’s easy to drive fast regardless of your skill level
- The 2022 M240i isn’t as fast around a big track as the 2021 BMW M2 Competition, but it’s comfier and just as fast in the real world
The letter M and one digit: that’s the traditional mark of the fastest, most capable BMWs. And even the X-marked SUVs are no different. But as the M cars have grown in power, speed, and size, they’ve almost outgrown the road entirely. For many, only the smaller, less-horsepower-crazy BMW M2 delights equally on both the racetrack and the street. However, while the next-gen M2 looks to keep the party going, you don’t have to wait for it. If you want fast, balanced, reasonably-sized fun, you should get the 2022 BMW M240i xDrive Coupe.
On the street, the 2022 BMW M240i xDrive Coupe is even faster than the outgoing M2
|2022 BMW M240i xDrive Coupe
|2021 BMW M2 Competition
|3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six
|3.0-liter twin-turbocharged inline-six
Seven-speed dual-clutch automatic
|Manual: 3600 lbs
DCT: 3655 lbs
|0-60 mph time (claimed)
|Manual: 4.0 seconds
DCT: 4.2 seconds
$56,845 (as tested)
Even though BMW is about to launch a next-gen M2, you can’t get the ‘current-gen’ model right now. Apart from the limited-edition M2 CS, the last production M2 sold in the U.S. was the 2021 M2 Competition. So, if you want the latest M2 right now, you’re shopping used. But, if you want M2-level performance in a brand-new BMW, look no further than the 2022 M240i xDrive Coupe. Which, unlike the 2 Series Gran Coupe, is an actual two-door coupe.
Semantics aside, the 2022 BMW M240i xDrive is an M Performance product, rather than a full M car. As such, it has the most powerful engine in the 2022 2 Series lineup, as well as standard M adaptive shocks, ventilated disc brakes, and an active differential. Also, while summer performance tires cost extra, performance run-flat tires are a no-cost option. In addition, the 2022 M240i’s transmission has quicker shifts and shorter gear ratios than the 2021 version. And it has launch control.
But the 2022 M240i xDrive Coupe’s real killer app over the M2 is standard all-wheel drive. Despite weighing more than the RWD M2, the less-powerful M240i xDrive is just as fast in a straight line. And I don’t just on paper. Car and Driver found the 2022 M240i xDrive beats both the manual and DCT M2 Competition in the ¼-mile by 0.3 seconds. Furthermore, while both the M2 and M240i hit 60 mph sooner than BMW claims, both M2 Competition models do it slower than the 2022 M240i. Oh, and the M Performance 2 Series is more fuel-efficient, too.
It’s a seriously speedy autocross weapon in anyone’s hands
Admittedly, fuel efficiency wasn’t a major concern at Road America’s autocross course when I drove the 2022 BMW M240i xDrive. Neither was setting new track records because the test car didn’t have the optional performance tires or M Technology Package, which adds extra brake and drivetrain cooling. However, after just a few corners, it was clear the M240i didn’t need either to be stupid fast.
No matter the gear or rpm, the engine is OMG strong and comes with a pleasant, if slightly muted, six-cylinder-smooth growl. Speaking of gears, the shifts are lightning-quick whether you’re letting the transmission work for you or pulling the paddles. Also, thanks to the differential and AWD system, the 2022 BMW M240i has grip for days. Yet it’s also well balanced, hence why it willingly rotates under braking; by the way, fantastic brakes. And when you do start sliding, you giggle at how easy it is to catch and control.
There is a weak point in this crazy coupe, though, and that’s the steering. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fast, accurate, and builds weight nicely. But there’s little-to-no road feel coming through that M Sport steering wheel. If you want the last word in feedback, get a Mazda Miata. Which, by the way, was the second-fastest car I drove that day.
The 2022 BMW M240i xDrive Coupe, though, was the fastest car. It was also arguably too fast for the tight go-kart track. I kept having to reel that ludicrous engine in like it was an over-excited Great Dane on a leash. However, while having to work for your speed is fun, so is the ability to easily wield such a potent tool as a newbie. And that’s perhaps this car’s greatest strength: no matter your experience level, the M240i makes going fast child’s play.
The M2 posts better lap times, but the 2022 BMW M240i xDrive Coupe is the better all-arounder
To be fair, the outgoing M2 Competition isn’t exactly boring, either. And based on BMW’s recent teasers, the new M2 should offer similar levels of shenaniganry. Also, though the 2022 M240i xDrive is faster in a straight line, it couldn’t match the M2’s time around Car and Driver’s Lightning Lap.
However, Car and Driver noted that the M240i xDrive’s AWD, as well as its overall “handling poise made it easy to master with minimal laps.” In addition, although BMW softened the M2 slightly in its later years, it’s not as comfortable on imperfect roads as the 2022 M240i. Plus, a used M2 Competition costs roughly the same as the M240i I drove and is already a few years and miles into its factory warranty. And don’t forget, the M240i was already almost too much for the autocross course. A full-on M2 would be full-on overkill.
It may have more than one digit, but the 2022 BMW M240i xDrive Coupe should be more than enough M for most.
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