Many people consider the Nurburgring to be the ultimate test of a car's performance. Known as "The Green Hell," the challenging 14.2-mile Nordschleife portion of the course pushes a car's speed, handling, and braking capabilities to their limits. A sub-eight-minute lap puts a vehicle in very fast company. Piloted by Jorg Weidinger, the latest BMW M2 completed it in 7 minutes 38.71 seconds.
To put the BMW M2's accomplishment in perspective, the previous M2 Competition completed a lap in 7:52.36, over 13 seconds slower than the current car. The M2 Competition cranks out 410 bhp, while the 2023 model produces 460 horses. The new car is also faster, taking 3.9 seconds to go from zero to 60 miles per hour, compared to the older car's 4.1 second time, and tops out at 177 mph.
Gallery: 2023 BMW M2: Review
However, there's more to setting faster laps than showing up in a faster car. BMW put a lot of effort into the preparation, including booking the Nurburgring and coordinating the vehicles. Then, there are the logistics of transporting the support team as well as the gear, tools, and tires needed for the attempt. Even when all of those things line up, you're still at the mercy of the weather, which can be unpredictable.
According to Jorg Weidinger, the team had difficulty with the weather during practice runs and was unable to complete one timed lap. Both a development engineer for the M2 and a seasoned record driver, he would drive but was dependent on a seven-person team to prepare the car and analyse performance data. But while Weidinger's M2 showed up at the Nurburgring with an entourage, it was still a production vehicle.
That's what makes the record run more impressive. Even though the BMW M team was allowed to make changes to the M2, they chose not to. Their goal is to set records using cars that are completely stock. Therefore, if a car like the BMW M4 uses carbon fibre body panels and special track tyres, those features must also be available to customers who buy the cars.