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The 2024 BMW M2 takes the Bavarian marque’s small-statured fighter into its second post-facelift year. However, just because the BMW M2 produces big power and tail-happy antics doesn’t mean it’s without competition. No, we’re not talking about the scalpel-sharp Audi RS 3; we’re talking high-horsepower hammer. It can be none other than the S650 Ford Mustang Dark Horse. 

The 2024 BMW M2 overcomes a horsepower deficit to contend with the Ford Mustang Dark Horse around corners and off the line

The 2024 BMW M2 has an unlikely foe in the Ford Mustang Dark Horse. On the one hand, you’ve got the 3,745-lb M2 and its tire-roasting RWD lunacy. On the other, the Mustang Dark Horse is a near-4,000-lb brute with a nice, round 500 horsepower output. 

However, don’t think the Ford Mustang Dark Horse isn’t nimble around corners. Think Jack Black and his deceptive agility for his frame. How? The Mustang’s corner competency is a sum of its parts. Specifically, super-sticky Pirelli P Zero PZ4s or optional Trofeo RS rubber, hand-me-down kit from the now-discontinued Mach 1, and ballistically bitey brakes make the Dark Horse more than a one-trick pony.

A Ford Mustang Dark Horse in Matte Clear Film | Ford

Specifically, the near-as-makes-no-difference 4,000-lb Dark Horse will return a 1.07-g skidpad result. It’s enough to overcome the Mustang’s extra poundage and put it ahead of the M2 by 0.03 gs, per Car and Driver testing.

Better yet, both thoroughbreds are available with a six-speed manual transmission, a dwindling presence in the current market. As such, drivers aren’t limited to shiftable dual-clutch units. Consequently, we expect many fans will opt for the six-speed rather than the optional 10-speed in the Mustang or the eight-speed automatic in the BMW. 

Still, it’s not as if there aren’t a couple of closely related three-pedal sports cars. For instance, the G29 BMW Z4 and the Toyota GR Supra offer six-speed gearboxes. However, the Dark Horse and the M2 are a couple of the more comparable coupes with rear seats. Practicality need not take a back seat for these two performance nameplates.

Ford Mustang Dark HorseBMW M2
EngineN/A 5.0L Coyote V8Twin-turbocharged inline-six
Horsepower500 HP453 HP
0-60 mph4.1 seconds3.9 seconds
¼ mile12.5 seconds12.2 seconds
Cornering (skidpad test)1.07 g1.04 g
Weight3,975 lbs3,745 lbs