The BMW M2 is a popular car in Multiplayer between ranks 1100 and 1200 (with tunes such as 0500 5050 0800 [-4+4-4-4]). Here, it easily beats Range Rover Evoque Coupe HSE Dynamics and Cobras alike, but it can be poorly matched against higher Cobras at B1234, which it can't beat. Below 1100, the BMW M2 cannot beat Evoques or rarer Porsche 959s. Like most cars in the game, the BMW M2 can barely compete against the Mercedes-Benz SLK 55 AMG Special Edition (SLK SE) at all possible ranks. The Mercedes-Benz GLC Coupe is another less common rival to the BMW M2 below 1100; it is similar to the Evoque. At ranks from 1250 to 1350, the M2 faces competition not just from the Cobra, but also from low-tuned TVR Sagaris' and Chevrolet 2016 Camaro SS' (both of which are inferior). There is also a small possibility of a BMW 3.0 CSL Hommage, Lamborghini Estoque, Holden Coupe 60, McLaren MP4/8, McLaren M14A, or Aston Martin Vulcan in games. However, these cars are mostly inferior to the BMW M2 at those ranks.
The BMW M2 is faster than the all other cars except for the SLK SE at ranks between 1100 to 1200, which is why it is so popular at those ranks. At those ranks, the BMW M2 can win easily on every map, but the rating gains are fairly small and it is difficult (but not impossible) to reach low Champion League (2000-2149 rating). Matchmaking is very poor around those ranks as well. On the other hand, the BMW M2 can be used at a rank of C1256, where it will be commonly matched against B1234, B1245, B1262, and B1285 Cobras, all of which are faster than the C1256 BMW M2 by a small amount. Also, the Cobra has slightly better acceleration and handling than the BMW M2 at those ranks. It might seem counter-intuitive, but the BMW M2 is actually more optimal at the C1256 rank than practically any other rank, being capable of reaching Champion League Tier 3 (2150-2299 rating) with that tuning.
The tuning for C1256 is 0504 5050 0800 [-4+4-4-4]. This tuning can be altered slightly. The speed is 246.7 mph (397.3 km/h), which is only just lower than the 247.8 mph (399.0 km/h) of the B1234 Cobra, and which is still not that much slower than the 254.1 mph (409.3 km/h) of the B1285 Cobra.
The reason why the BMW M2 is actually better at the C1256 rank is that most of the skilled Cobra users are found at those ranks, allowing for larger rank gains. The BMW M2's biggest advantage against the Cobra is its superior drifting (it also has better nitro efficiency), which can help to negate its slightly slower top speed and acceleration than the Cobra. If the map is optimal, a skilled C1256 BMW M2 driver can even outrun a skilled B1285 Cobra driver by 1-2 seconds.
The BMW M2 is superior to the Cobra on maps which have difficult drifts because the Cobra has a very bad drifting radius, despite its other stats being decently or very good. Even though the Cobra's drifting can sometimes be overcome with skill, often, it's simply impossible to do so, such as on the tight and long curve at the beginning of Sector 8 Reverse (the effect is not as bad with regular Sector 8, since the curve is at the end) or at the crossroads of Dubai (more so on the non-reversed version, and with ramps only). Other maps have similar but less severe effects, such as Nevada Reverse (the tunnel at the beginning), Venice (the bus depot and the section after the train tracks), Tenerife (the beginning of Mount Teide), Iceland (the first split in the track on the regular version, + the caves), Barcelona Reverse (the turn at the end), Alps (the turn after the bridges), Azure Coast (the hairpin turns), The Great Wall, and San Diego Harbor (which is more than half of the maps in the game). With very high skill, an Extra Tank, and constant use of level-3 nitro, the Cobra can be driven on most of these tracks fairly well, apart from Dubai and Sector 8 Reverse. However, the Cobra does have a huge tendency to skid, while the BMW M2 doesn't. Also, if a Cobra wrecks just once, a BMW M2 can easily maintain the lead in the race.
The BMW M2, despite being roughly equal to the Cobra at rank 1250 or even slightly better in certain situations, is slightly worse overall, due to its Elite status causing it to become broken after an average of three races. However, this downside can be mitigated by the use of multiple Multiplayer cars, including the Cobra itself. It is a good idea to use the BMW M2 alongside another Multiplayer car.