Without question, this new BMW M2 CS is the best M car on sale. Actually, it’s the best M car to be sold since the BMW 1M and it might even be better. It’s a genuinely sensational driver’s car that almost has no equal at its price point. Almost. There is actually one other car that competes with the M2 CS and can even take it down, at a similar price — the Porsche Cayman GT4. In this new comparison test from Motor Trend, we see which focused driver’s car is best.

Each car in this test has its own distinct advantages and disadvantages. The BMW M2 CS has more power; its 3.0 liter twin-turbo I6 makes 444 horsepower, versus the Cayman’s 4.0 liter naturally-aspirated flat-six with 414 horsepower; and it’s cheaper; around $84,000, versus’ the Cayman’s $101,000 starting price. However, the Cayman GT4 is lighter; 3,127 lbs versus the Bimmer’s 3,485 lbs; and is built on a bespoke mid-engine sports car chassis, while the M2 CS is built on the old 2 Series chassis.

What’s most fascinating about this comparison test is that Motor Trend had four test cars on hand; automatic and manual versions of both cars. So they were able to compare apples-to-apples comparisons for both transmissions, which is really interesting. They also tested both cars on track (automatic) and on the road (manual), so it was about as comprehensive a test as you’ll find.

On track, at the Streets of Willow, the PDK-equipped Porsche Cayman GT4 blew the doors off the DCT-equipped BMW M2 CS, posting a lap time two seconds faster. Most of that came down to the gearbox, as BMW’s DCT would upshift on its own, even when the driver didn’t want it. So it often left the M2 CS in the wrong gear. It was also a bit too tail-happy to beat the hyper-composed Cayman GT4 on track.

On the road, though, with manual transmissions, the opposite was true. The Cayman GT4 was, of course, still a fantastic sports car but it was the BMW M2 CS that was deemed more fun. Its punchy attitude actually made it a bit more exciting and put bigger grins on drivers’ faces. While the GT4 was great, and any driver would love to use one on the road, the M2 CS was the one more MT drivers wanted to drive.

So which car was deemed better overall? You’ll just have to read the comparison because it’s absolutely worth a read for any BMW or Porsche enthusiast.

[Source: Motor Trend]