Do You Need a BMW M to Go Fast? Find Out on this Episode of Hot or Not [Video]

A few months ago we had the highly praised BMW M2 on our test track. Paul, our expert racing driver and former US Top Gear Stig, was infatuated with the little German Sport Coupe. He even went so far as to call it one of his favorite cars he’s had on our track. This week we have the M2’s little brother, the BMW 230i xDrive. As is tradition, we have given it to Paul to take it around the track in order to answer two big questions. First, is the BMW 230i xDrive Hot or Not? Second, do you really need the M2 to set a good lap time?

[Photo: TFL]

Specs

Our tester has a 2.0L 4-cylinder Turbo that makes 248 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. It sends power to all four wheels through an 8-speed automatic transmission. Paul was able to hit 60 MPH in 5.96 seconds which is very respectable for any car a mile above sea level. By comparison, the M2 took 5.31 seconds. Not a huge difference there. Obviously, the M2 has a lot more done to it to help it dominate the race track. So, how does the BMW 230i xDrive compare on the track?

Lap Time

Paul was able to complete the circuit in 1:05.75, just 2.06 seconds behind the M2. To answer our first question: Heck yes this car is hot. That time is just 0.5 seconds slower than a Jaguar F-Type R and about 0.5 seconds faster than a Golf R.

Hot or Not?

These points also help to answer the second question. No you don’t really need an M car to set a good lap time. That being said, the M2 would probably fare a bit better after a full day of track abuse. Paul offered one caveat to the 230i xDrive being that ours had a few too many options. With a total price just over $50K, our 230i xDrive was within $5,000 MSRP of the M2. Buy it with less options (making sure to keep the performance package) and you have yourself an awesome sportscar that can set a good lap time as well.

Be sure to stay tuned to TFLcar.com for more hot or not reviews! To see all of Paul’s comments on this surprisingly sporty vehicle, be sure to watch the whole video.

Michael Curtis
Michael has always had a passion for things with four wheels and an engine. His parents often joked that his first word was "Porsche." He currently works for TFL full time as an editor, videographer, presenter & writer. In his spare time, he stays plugged into the car community through meets and other events.