Cars/ First-drive/ BMW M2 | Unadulterated ‘M’arvel! | First Drive

BMW M2 | Unadulterated ‘M’arvel! | First Drive

The all-new entry point to BMW’s M division thrills and admittedly makes you question the need of an M4.


Chassis & Fun Handling, All-round Practical Coupe


Imperfect 6-spd Manual, Heavy-weight, Mediocre Fuel Economy


M for Magic, M for Magnificent and M for Marvellous! Adjectives I’d be hard pressed to not use to describe the latest generation of M-ness from Bavaria. This the all-new 2nd generation BMW M2 is the smallest, cheapest and purest full-fat M car, and sequel to the best-selling M car globally (almost 60,000 examples sold) – the original M2.

And in an age of electrification and crossover body styles, BMW presents us with a refreshingly pure and simple spec. There is only the 2 door 4 seats M2 coupe with classic proportions, no convertible. Powered by a delicious 3.0-litre twin-turbo straight-six engine in the front driving the rear wheels only via a manual stick-shift gearbox in the centre!

So yes, welcome to the ‘last ever’ ‘petrol only’ ‘manual gearbox’ equipped M car. After this era, everything may well be a hybrid or electric only. And with my fingers wrapped around tightly the contours of the padded wheel, I chose to live and re-live this thrill-filled day!

Verdict: In a Class of One

The M2's performance potential, with its purist nature, improved tech and interior comfort with lots of modern-day creature comforts, means it's likely to be a double threat— both a track-day hero and a seriously exciting daily driver. At launch prices its up against the A45 S AMG which is a hatchback, while the M4 is almost half a crore more expensive. The 718 Cayman doesn’t have the extra 2 seats and if you’re thinking of the locally assembled M340i offers more bang for the buck, the M2 beats it on thrill, compactness and exclusivity.

Its superior dynamics with the manual gearbox option make it a clear winner. It’s a vastly improved vehicle - Quieter, roomier, more generously equipped only lacking ever-so-slightly a personality all its own, which the uncomplicated, uncompromising old M2 had in spadefuls. Look past that and the M2 really is in a class of One. No other small sporting coupe is as practical and thrilling enough as a daily driver and in many ways questions of the need for an M4 itself.

TopGear Magazine July 2024