2020 BMW M2 Competition vs. 2019 Alfa Romeo 4C

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/19

The M2 Competition has standard City Collision Mitigation, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The 4C doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

The M2 Competition’s lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The 4C doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The M2 Competition has standard Park Distance Control to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or in front of their vehicle. The 4C doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

The M2 Competition’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The 4C doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

The M2 Competition has standard BMW Assist, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The 4C doesn’t offer a GPS response system, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the M2 Competition and the 4C have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.

The BMW M2 Competition weighs 1113 to 1168 pounds more than the Alfa Romeo 4C. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts. Crosswinds also affect lighter cars more.

Warranty

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The M2 Competition’s corrosion warranty is 8 years longer than the 4C’s (12 vs. 4 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the M2 Competition for 3 years and 36,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Alfa Romeo only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the 4C.

There are almost 2 times as many BMW dealers as there are Alfa Romeo dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the M2 Competition’s warranty.

Reliability

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A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the M2 Competition’s engine. A rubber cam drive belt that needs periodic replacement drives the 4C’s camshafts. If the 4C’s belt breaks, the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the M2 Competition has a standard 209-amp alternator. The 4C’s 160-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the M2 Competition has a standard 900-amp battery. The 4C’s 500-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

Engine

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The M2 Competition’s 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 168 more horsepower (405 vs. 237) and 148 lbs.-ft. more torque (406 vs. 258) than the 4C’s 1.8 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Car and Driver the M2 is faster than the 4C (automatics tested):

M2

4C

Zero to 60 MPH

4.0 sec

4.1 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

9.1 sec

10.7 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

4.3 sec

5.1 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

2.3 sec

2.9 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

2.8 sec

4.2 sec

Quarter Mile

12.4 sec

128 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

116 MPH

108 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/19

Regenerative brakes improve the M2 Competition’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The 4C doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the M2 Competition’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The 4C doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The M2 Competition has 3.2 gallons more fuel capacity than the 4C (13.7 vs. 10.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Environmental Friendliness

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/19

In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the BMW M2 Competition higher (3 out of 10) than the Alfa Romeo 4C (1). This means the M2 Competition produces up to 22.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the 4C every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

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A seven-speed automatic (SMG) is optional on the BMW M2 Competition, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the 4C.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the M2 Competition’s brake rotors are larger than those on the 4C:

M2 Competition

4C

Front Rotors

15.7 inches

12 inches

Rear Rotors

15 inches

11.5 inches

Tires and Wheels

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/19

For better traction, the M2 Competition has larger tires than the 4C (F:245/35R19 & R:265/35R19 vs. F:205/45R17 & R:235/40R18).

The M2 Competition’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the 4C’s standard 45 series front and 40 series rear tires. The M2 Competition’s tires are lower profile than the 4C’s optional 40 series front tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the M2 Competition has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch front and 18-inch rear wheels are standard on the 4C. The 4C’s largest wheels are only 18-inches in the front and 19-inches in the rear.

Suspension and Handling

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The M2 Competition has standard power steering to make quick and controllable low speed maneuvers easy. The 4C doesn’t offer power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the M2 Competition’s wheelbase is 12.3 inches longer than on the 4C (106 inches vs. 93.7 inches).

The M2 Competition’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (48.1% to 51.9%) than the 4C’s (41% to 59%). This gives the M2 Competition more stable handling and braking.

For better maneuverability, the M2 Competition’s turning circle is 2.1 feet tighter than the 4C’s (38.4 feet vs. 40.5 feet).

Passenger Space

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/19

The M2 Competition has standard seating for 4 passengers; the 4C can only carry 2.

The M2 Competition has 2.1 inches more front headroom and 4.6 inches more front shoulder room than the 4C.

Cargo Capacity

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With its coupe body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the M2 Competition offers cargo security. The 4C’s non-lockable remote release defeats cargo security.

Servicing Ease

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The M2 Competition uses gas struts to support the hood for easier service access. The 4C uses a prop rod to support its heavy hood. It takes two hands to open the hood and set the prop rod, the prop rod gets in the way during maintenance and service, and the prop rod could be knocked out, causing the heavy hood to fall on the person maintaining or servicing the car.

The engine in the M2 Competition is mounted longitudinally (North-South), instead of sideways, as in the 4C. This makes it easier to service and maintain, because the accessory belts are in front.

Ergonomics

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When two different drivers share the M2 Competition, the memory system makes it convenient for both. Each setting activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position, outside mirror angle, climate settings and radio stations. The 4C doesn’t offer a memory system.

The M2 Competition’s front power windows open or close with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside of the car. The 4C’s power windows’ switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully.

The M2 Competition’s standard power window controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The 4C’s available power window controls are spread out on the center console where they can’t be seen without the driver completely removing his eyes from the road.

If the windows are left open on the M2 Competition the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the 4C can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

Comfort Access standard on the M2 Competition allows you to unlock the driver’s door, trunk and start the engine all without removing a key from pocket or purse. This eliminates searching for keys before loading groceries, getting in the vehicle in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The Alfa Romeo 4C doesn’t offer an advanced key system.

The M2 Competition has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The 4C doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

The M2 Competition’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The 4C’s intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

The M2 Competition has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The 4C doesn’t offer automatic headlights.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the M2 Competition detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The 4C doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the M2 Competition has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The 4C doesn’t offer cornering lights. The M2 Competition also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

The M2 Competition’s power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The 4C’s power mirror controls are on the center console where they can’t be seen without the driver completely removing his eyes from the road.

When the M2 Competition is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The 4C’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

The M2 Competition’s standard rear and side view mirrors have an automatic dimming feature. These mirrors can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The 4C doesn’t offer the luxury of automatic dimming mirrors.

The M2 Competition has standard heated front seats, which keep the driver and front passenger extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated seats aren’t available in the 4C.

On extremely cold winter days, the M2 Competition’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The 4C doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The M2 Competition’s standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The 4C doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

The M2 Competition’s standard automatic temperature control maintains the temperature you set, automatically controlling fan speed, vents and temperature to maintain a consistent, comfortable environment. The 4C doesn’t offer automatic air conditioning.

A built-in pollen filter removes pollen, exhaust fumes and other pollutants from the M2 Competition’s passenger compartment. This helps prevent lung and/or sinus irritation, which can trigger allergies or asthma. The 4C doesn’t offer a filtration system.

To help keep the driver’s hands on the wheel, the M2 Competition has standard steering wheel controls for the radio. The 4C doesn’t offer steering wheel audio controls.

To direct the driver from any location to a given street address, a GPS navigation system is standard on the M2 Competition. The M2 Competition’s navigation system also has a real-time traffic update feature that offers alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service not available in all areas.) The 4C doesn’t offer a navigation system.

With standard voice command, the M2 Competition offers the driver hands free control of the radio and the navigation computer by simply speaking. The 4C doesn’t offer a voice control system.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the BMW M2 Competition offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The 4C doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2019 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2019/10/19

The M2 Competition was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 2 of the last 3 years. The 4C has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The M2 was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” for 2 of the last 3 years. The 4C hasn’t been picked since 2015.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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