History is bound to repeat itself, as we all know. Such is life. Sometimes this is a bad thing but sometimes it can be a good thing. A very good thing. We’ve had the chance to test the wonderful BMW M2 recently in California and we were incredibly impressed with what the M2 delivered. However, that was just a small sample size coming after a tidal wave of hype. So we don’t actually know how excellent it will be once owners get their hands on it and drive it on a daily, or semi-daily, basis. But, if history is any indication, it will be flipping fantastic.
The two cars that precede the BMW M2 are the BMW 1 Series M and M235i. The 1 Series M came first, obviously, giving the world an answer to a question it hadn’t asked but is so incredibly grateful for having. The 1M was mad and shouty and violent, but it was also one of the most soulful cars BMW has made in a very long time. It will go down in history as one of the brand’s all time greats. When it first came out, people were excited about it and claimed it to be very good. But it wasn’t until owners took their cars home and drove them around for awhile, in contrast to other cars that they owned and other cars on the road, that they understood just how excellent and transcendent that it was and still is. Now, ask any BMW fan about the 1M and they’ll have a hard time finding enough superlatives to describe it.
While not as transcendent, the BMW M235i followed the 1M’s act faithfully. Though the M235i isn’t a full-blown M car, it still has that perfect recipe for fun and is a large part of why the M2 was so hotly anticipated. The BMW M235i showed everyone that BMW still knows how to make small performance coupes better than anyone else in the business. With its lightweight (for today’s world) body, powerful inline-six engine and fantastically fun chassis, the M235i is a car that urges its drivers to play. It’s a car that rewards hard driving and enjoys being thrown around. It could be the most playful BMW since the 1M. It’s not as hard-edged, though, as it’s built for a slightly more mainstream crowd, so it’s a bit more comfortable and usable everyday than the more hardcore 1 Series M.
This is where the BMW M2 comes in, as a sort of middle-man between the two cars. The BMW M2 is more aggressive than the M235i, far more so. It’s much faster, has far superior performance and is also quite violent. However, it isn’t on the same violence level as the 1 Series M, it is far safer and more approachable. While driving the 1M, you must be on top of your game or the car’s gonna bite you. With the M2, you can push it harder towards its limits and it won’t bite. It’s much easier to drive faster. But it isn’t soft like the M235i and packs way more aggression.
Because both the 1 Series M and M235i are both excellent cars and have stood the test of time, being claimed as great even after their hyped launches, the M2 should follow suit. The BMW M2 seems like the perfect compromise between the two, as it proves to be a better daily drive than the 1M but a more fun and more hardcore sports car than the M235i. Being that the M2 is made in the mold of both of those cars, and maybe in a mold of them combined, it should be just as great as they are. If not, more so.