2020 BMW M2 Competition vs. 2019 Lexus RC F

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Both the M2 Competition and the RC F have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver and front passenger knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras and driver alert monitors.


The M2 Competition’s corrosion warranty is 6 years longer than the RC F’s (12 vs. 6 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. Lexus only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the RC F.

There are over 43 percent more BMW dealers than there are Lexus dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the M2 Competition’s warranty.


The battery on the M2 Competition is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the M2 Competition’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The RC F’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.


The M2 Competition’s 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 17 lbs.-ft. more torque (406 vs. 389) than the RC F’s 5.0 DOHC V8.

As tested in Car and Driver the M2 is faster than the RC F (automatics tested):



Zero to 60 MPH

4.0 sec

4.3 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

9.1 sec

9.9 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

4.3 sec

4.7 sec

Passing 30 to 50 MPH

2.3 sec

3.5 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

2.8 sec

3.2 sec

Quarter Mile

12.4 sec

12.8 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

116 MPH

114 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

Regenerative brakes improve the M2 Competition’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The RC F 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 RC F doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.


The M2 Competition offers a manual transmission for better acceleration, control and fuel economy. The RC F doesn’t offer a manual transmission.

The M2 Competition offers an optional sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The RC F doesn’t offer an SMG.

The M2 Competition Automatic’s optional launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The RC F doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

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

M2 Competition


Front Rotors

15.7 inches

14.9 inches

Rear Rotors

15 inches

13.5 inches

Suspension and Handling

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the M2 Competition is 1 inch wider in the front and 1.6 inches wider in the rear than on the RC F.

The M2 Competition’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (48.1% to 51.9%) than the RC F’s (55% to 45%). This gives the M2 Competition more stable handling and braking.

The M2 Competition Coupe handles at 1.01 G’s, while the RC F pulls only .92 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The M2 Competition Coupe executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the RC F (24 seconds @ .82 average G’s vs. 24.9 seconds @ .8 average G’s).


The BMW M2 Competition may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 300 to 350 pounds less than the Lexus RC F.

The M2 Competition is 9 inches shorter than the RC F, making the M2 Competition easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the M2 Competition a Compact car, while the RC F is rated a Subcompact.

The M2 Competition has 10.3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the RC F (89.7 vs. 79.4).

The M2 Competition has 2.3 inches more front headroom, 3.7 inches more front shoulder room, 1.5 inches more rear headroom, 5.7 inches more rear legroom and 7.3 inches more rear shoulder room than the RC F.

Cargo Capacity

The M2 Competition Coupe has a much larger trunk than the RC F (13.8 vs. 10.1 cubic feet).

The M2 Competition’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The RC F doesn’t offer folding rear seats, only a ski pass-through.

Servicing Ease

The M2 Competition has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The RC F doesn’t have a maintenance free battery, so the water level in the battery’s cells must be checked often to prevent damage.


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 RC F’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the M2 Competition has standard cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The RC F 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 was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 2 of the last 3 years. The RC F 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 RC F has never been an “All Star.”

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

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