Being fun while going slow — that’s the most challenging thing for an automaker to do with a performance car. Anyone can add gobs of power, tons of grip and huge performance capability. Hell, Chevy’s been doing it for decades. But making a car that can be fun at normal speeds while also being able to handle performance extremes is an immense challenge. The reason is that, typically, incredibly powerful cars can be boring when driving at sane speeds.
The BMW M2, on the other hand, is fun at any speed. You don’t need a race track or unrestricted slice of road. All you need is the M2 and you can have some fun. That’s because BMW focused on how the M2 made its driver’s feel, rather than how fast it could go. And because of that fact, the BMW M2 could be the Bavarian Porsche Cayman GT4.
Porsche has a future classic on its hands, with the Cayman GT4. Its mid-engine layout, hardcore suspension, modest power output and six-speed manual make it an absolute blast to drive. It could be on the local roads surround your house or Laguna Seca, it doesn’t matter. The Cayman GT4 is fun at any speed and on any road. Much like the BMW M2.
The M2 doesn’t have the mega power that its bigger M4 brother has. No, compared to that car’s 425 hp (444 with Comp. Pack), the M2 makes do with 365 hp. While it gets a lot of the same chassis components as the M4, its wheelbase is shorter and tires skinnier. That means that the M2 is just as tail-happy as the M4, but infinitely more controllable and neutral once it does slide. It’s a wonderfully balanced car, the M2. Plus, the BMW M2 feels like a proper BMW M car should, with its perfect size, metallic wailing engine and a six-speed manual.
If you were to take your BMW M2 to the track, along with most other performance cars of this era, it wouldn’t be the fastest car there. But that doesn’t matter, because you’d be the driver having the most fun. Alongside Porsche Cayman GT4 owners, that is.