wheels CotY 2017: Best Coupé

The fact it still shone with so many brilliant coupes in the market says it all
By Sony Thomas, Deputy Editor
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March 04, 2017
Photos: Malek Fayoumi, Stefan Lindeque
Photos: Malek Fayoumi, Stefan Lindeque(1/3)
Photos: Malek Fayoumi, Stefan Lindeque
Photos: Malek Fayoumi, Stefan Lindeque(2/3)
Photos: Malek Fayoumi, Stefan Lindeque
Photos: Malek Fayoumi, Stefan Lindeque(3/3)

Nothing beats the age-old formula of a compact two-door car driven by its rear wheels in providing its driver the most adrenaline-charged driving experience. Well, there are of course other factors, like the engine, suspension et al, but that basic layout simply cannot be beaten. That’s why sporty coupés are still as popular a choice among driving enthusiasts as they’ve always been. And our top three coupés of the year epitomise the very best characteristics of this genre.

The Camaro follows the same blueprint that hatched the muscle car genre half a century ago, but embraces the times with a fuel-efficient turbocharged four-cylinder engine, a choice of transmissions, and a new lightweight platform. And with the Magnetic Ride Control and adaptive suspension, it’s no more just a straight line hero, but a true corner-carver.

It’s no different with the Mercedes-AMG C 63 coupé. It’s powered by a thunderous 4.0-litre biturbo, which, mated to a seven-speed auto ’box, churns out 503bhp and 700Nm of torque in the top S trim, is blisteringly quick and thanks to the tweaked suspension, remains poised around bends at high speeds.

As great to drive as they are, they pale in comparison against the BMW M2. Without doubt one of the best cars to have rolled out of Garching in many decades, it’s closer in spirit and character to the original E30 M3 than any other M car. The turbocharged 3.0-litre straight-six, paired with a seven-speed dual clutch transmission, makes 365bhp and 465Nm. This might look modest compared to what the rivals put out, but the overall experience is infinitely more enthralling.

While 0-100kph takes 4.3 seconds the dash feels much quicker thanks to the firm suspension set-up and road and engine noise seeping in freely. The M2’s ability to grip the tarmac is extraordinary, but in Sport+ mode, which limits the interference of traction control, the tail kicks out predictably letting you have some sweaty-palm fun. And what’s even more commendable is the fact that BMW has kept the price very reasonable at Dh275,000, making it the best coupé on sale today in terms of value and overall driving experience.