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Is Every Manual BMW Drivetrain Really So Similar?

S58, B58, N55 — which manual-equipped inline-six reigns supreme?

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Screenshot: Savagegeese

BMW’s inline sixes are some of the best engines you can buy today. The age of the 2JZ may be long gone, but the Bavarians have kept up the tradition of high-powered, overbuilt sixes ready to mod to your heart’s content. But, with so many options, how do you know which one to pick?

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Thankfully, Savagegeese is here to help. Jack and Mark are back with another intense comparison test, putting their combination of mechanical examination, driving impressions, and pro-driver lap times to use differentiating BMW’s manual-equipped inline-six drivetrains.

2023 BMW M2 vs Supra vs F87 M2 | Battle of the Manuals

One would expect the Supra to be the odd car out, and in many ways it is. The only non-S engine, the only two seater, the only liftback, and oh yeah the only car tuned by Toyota. Mark and Jack call it out as unique, but add even more reasons into the mix: Its chassis dynamics, the rewarding feel of pushing the car, and its reliability compared to the more highly-tuned competitors.


As for lap times, the Supra was the fastest, followed by the new M2 and the old one. If you’re after pure speed, get the Toyota and don’t look back though, know that it’s harder to achieve that speed than in the friendlier M cars. As for the comparison’s overall winner, however, going beyond track manners accounting for all-around use, you’ll have to watch to find out.