Driving A Real BMW M2 In Virtual Reality Looks Terrifyingly Fun – TopSpeed
Forget Forza Horizon, take a sneak peek at BMW’s take on a racing simulation that involves a sportscar with great handling finesse
Are you a fan of racing games? If yes, BMW seems to have been fabricating the ultimate racing simulator, which involves the newly launched second-generation M2. It is part of the M Mixed Reality in which the M2, the real thing, is the controller. BMW BLOG took the chance to test-drive the new M2 while wearing an expensive VR headset for a round of a racing game like no other.
Imagine a competent sports car like the M2 on an empty track, but virtually lying ahead is a beautiful track with tight twisties and BMW tokens, which you must collect while driving the M2. The VR headset is the Varjo XR-3, a $5,000 piece of equipment that highlights 3D spatial positioning via LiDAR. In addition, there are cameras attached to the system that allow the users to visualize the dashboard and their hand movements on the steering wheel. However, the VR headset has been slightly tuned for increased head-tracking abilities.
The M Mixed Reality is the best racing simulation because, through the headset, you will experience a Cyberpunk 2077-inspired racetrack. In reality, you will still be driving the M2 and even pushing it to the limits. But, of course, you will not be allowed to drive M2 with the expert from the Mixed Reality project, Alex Kuttner, in the front passenger seat. According to him, Mixed Reality utilizes all the motion data from the car, so you can end the sessions without feeling dizzy.
This racing simulation is co-developed with Epic Games, using Unreal Engine 4. You will notice that through the VR headset, the dashboard with the curved screens is thoroughly visible, and the infotainment screen displays the lap times. It is thrilling to experience such a feat in a mixed reality where you drive a real car, but you only see a futuristic racetrack with excellent graphics, thanks to the 4K VR headset.
Sitting within the M arsenal, the G87 M2 is a sportscar not to be underestimated. It replaces the older S55 engine with the latest S58 engine with upgraded turbos and better power than the outgoing M2 generation. The 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged straight-six in the G87 flavor cranks out a respectable 453 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque through the rear wheels via an eight-speed torque converter gearbox. Unfortunately, the M2 prototype used in the Mixed Reality demo swaps the performance tires for winter rubber, and it was evident in the video that due to the wet track, the M2 couldn’t handle like the way it should. Nevertheless, the M2 is a splendid choice for the simulation since it is lighter and more agile than its elder siblings. Also, this might be BMW’s strategy to lure consumers towards the G87 M2, as it's clear from the video game how well it handles corners.
After working predominantly as a freelancer at CarHP/CarIndigo, Amreetam joined the TopSpeed team as a journalist in September 2021. In a world where SUVs are booming, he favors sedans and adores BMWs and Mercedes, with a special spot for Lexus and Genesis. He is currently pursuing Master of Arts in History and is 24 years old.
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