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rFactor 2 | BMW M2 CS Racing Released

Paul Jeffrey

RaceDepartment Editor-in-Chief
Studio 397 have surprised us all with a new rF2 DLC - the brand new, freshly revealed BMW M2 CS Racing is here!

Developed with an unprecedented level of collaboration between Studio 397 and BMW, the virtual M2 CS Racing was developed for rFactor 2 at the same time as its real world counterpart at the legendary German manufacturer. Thanks to the close working relationship between the two parties, sim racers have the exciting opportunity to sample the virtual car on the actual day the real version reveals to the world….

The BMW M2 CS Racing is available for rFactor 2 now, and if like me you aren't able to get on the gaming rig just yet but still want an opportunity to see what all the fuss is about, check out the new trailer for the car below:

With such an interesting collaboration between a simulation development team such as Studio 397 and a major road and race car manufacturer the likes of BMW, we thought it would be good opportunity to run a quick Q&A discussion with Studio 397’s head man, @Marcel Offermans

RD: Massive news today, a new BMW racecar and it’s coming to rFactor 2 straight away! You have had a close working relationship with BMW for the M2 CS Racing I understand?

: Yes, we did! As you know, we already feature several remarkable BMW race cars in rFactor 2, the M8 GTE and M6 GT3 and of course their Formula E car. So we had established a partnership earlier, that we now take to the next level to bring the most accurate BMW race car to date into simracing. The german premium brand breathes motorsport and is an excellent partner to recreate the pure experience of driving such race cars.

RD: It must be a pretty special feeling letting sim racers get access to the car before the real deal even hits the circuit in anger for the first time?

: It is indeed and we are proud that BMW decided to work with us for this special occasion. The BMW M2 CS Racing is a perfect example for an exciting cup car and even though we are sure that the drivers in the physical world will love it, for example in VLN, simracers will have the upper hand for now, being able to jump behind the wheel of BMW's newest race car right now. Who knows, maybe we see someone using that advantage to then go on and win on the real track?

rF2 BMW M2 header (3).jpg

RD: How did this type of relationship come to fruition for Studio 397, this level of access at such a crucial stage of (real car) development must be unprecedented in sim racing?

: It certainly is. Developing a new car is always a huge project and as you can probably guess, it's all about keeping your secrets, which often makes it hard for sim developers to get their hands on newly released racecars. We are very happy that BMW decided to make us part of their development process and with that, give us access to everything we needed to build the car in rFactor 2 alongside their physical building process.

RD: If you were to weigh this one up against other car content in rFactor 2, how much more real world data and verification has been applied compared to a traditional licencing arrangement?

: We always work with real world data when building new cars for rFactor 2, mostly it’s a mix between input for the car manufacturer and teams that field this car in championships. But that often takes time, as in building a relationship with a team that is willing to share data and so on. This time, we have been able to get everything from the source, as fresh as it comes, without the need to hunt for data or information, which was just incredible for us. No matter what we asked for, BMW delivered in great detail on it and enabled us to build something everyone at Studio 397 can be proud of. But it wasn ‘t just data shared from BMW that made this project special, it was also the opportunity to get the physic model validated immediately by the BMW drivers. They tested the car in the real world, for example on the iconic Nordschleife, and then also test it in our simulation so we had feedback on what to work on. With this we went back and forth until we nailed it. It was a stunning experience and we are sure that everyone who will try the BMW M2 CS Racing in rFactor 2 will feel all the work that went into it.

rF2 BMW M2 header (4).jpg

RD: The car is available now, how do players get a hold of it, and what price point are you going for with this one?

: As always with rFactor 2, you will find the car in our item store and following our price structure it will be 4.99 Euro.

RD: The real series will be a standalone category, once the championship hits the track for the first time will Studio 397 be updating the car based on new learnings from seeing the car raced in anger for the first time?

: We are sure that, as soon as the car is being actively raced by teams, there will be more input and feedback available that could help ensure that the BMW M2 CS Racing in rFactor 2 stays the perfect training tool for aspiring drivers. As always, we will do our best to gather data and feedback to further work on our simulation.

rF2 BMW M2 header (5).jpg

RD: Obviously BMW are closely involved in this release – do you have any plans with the manufacturer to involve sim racers and real drivers with the content beyond today’s release?

: That is a question that definitely comes to mind when looking at this, but unfortunately I have to leave you with an “you will have to wait and see” for now.

RD: How have BMW reacted to the car in rFactor 2, have they been surprised with the level of detail in modern simulations?

: Obviously we were eager to impress our friends over at BMW when given the chance to work closely on a new race car. While they had been aware of the fact that racing simulations came a long way since back in the days, I am sure we managed to surprise and impress them here and there along the way to the final product.

RD: In respect of the car itself, what sort of performance and specifications are we expecting to see when we drive ourselves out on the (virtual) race tracks?

: For now, the specifications follow the version that will be raced at the Endurance Event at the Nürburgring. Just like the street version of the BMW M2, the M2 CS Racing has its power delivered by a 3.0L turbo engine which produces 550 Nm of torque and 340 horsepower. Might not make you go “wow” from just reading the pure numbers, but keep in mind that this is a car specially built for racing and that makes it way different to normal street cars with a high power output. Believe me when I say, it’s a great drive!

The new car is available to purchase now in the rFactor 2 Steam Store. To mark the latest content release for the sim, check out the full Studio 397 announcement below:

On the day of the release of the real car, we are proud that for our newest release we were able to team up with the race fanatics that are BMW Motorsport to bring the newest and hottest automobile from the Bavarian manufacturer to the virtual tracks everywhere in the world. Tested to perfection on the iconic Nürburgring Nordschleife, the BMW M2 CS Racing is the up and coming Cup class that will have drivers right in the action of multiclass endurance racing. Front engine – rear wheel driven, the formula for a thrilling challenge no matter where you race it!

The close collaboration with BMW Motorsport, which started already during the development and testing of the real car, meant we had full access to every aspect of the car and the performance data BMW has gathered over the last couple of months. This means not only does the car look beautiful, being created based on the actual CAD data for the exterior, interior and suspension, but it drives just like the real one. We faithfully recreated every setting that you can use to setup the car and by comparing telemetry with that on our laser scanned tracks, we validated all aspects of suspension, engine and gearbox behavior. During these development iterations, we also had the BMW Motorsport drivers helping us with testing and validating the physics, so all the ingredients are there for an enjoyable time behind the steering wheel!

rF2 BMW M2 Launch 2.jpg

Some technical details about the car. It is based on the F87 M2, with 3.0L turbo engine producing 550 Nm of torque and 350 horsepower. Those figures might seem low on paper compared to many modern street legal sports cars, but this car is built specifically for track usage, and BMW made sure acceleration from corner exit is more than good, with a flat engine power curve from 5000 rpm, up to almost 7000 rpm. Mid-corner, the M2’s well known agility is kept in check by a set of four 285 mm wide slicks on 18″ rims. Dry weight is 1535 kg, supported by track oriented adjustable dampers and a few sets of stiff springs. Both front and rear anti-roll bars are adjustable (2 options for each). Stopping power is provided by beefed up, lightweight 6 piston (front) and 4 piston (rear) calipers combined with 380 mm discs all around and ABS system tuned specifically for track usage. Traction control is also available, with a dedicated preset for dry and wet conditions, or can be turned completely off. To improve torque transfer to the rear tyres, the car has a proper racing plate-type Limited Slip Differential. Aerodynamics have also been optimized, with front splitter and adjustable rear wing at the back.

The car is for sale in rFactor 2 now and you can find it here. Enjoy the drive!

rF2 BMW M2 header (6).jpg

rF2 BMW M2 header (2).jpg
rF2 BMW M2 Launch.jpg

rFactor 2 is available exclusively on PC.

Questions? Ask the community and post a thread in the
rFactor 2 sub forum here at RaceDepartment! If you love racing online, why not check out our rFactor 2 Racing Club - a fantastic place to experience this sim with in a clean, safe and competitive environment.
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At least Formula E runs on other continents... this BMW spec series doesn't sound like it will ever be available in North America?


Anybody else have the impression that the car is too highly geared? On the Nordschleife driving down the Döttinger Höhe, 6th gear is faster than 7th. :confused: Love the handling though, good old oldschool powersliding through the corners, although it takes a while to get the brakes and the tyres properly warmed up. All in all, tremendous fun, a steal for €4.99 :thumbsup: