On the surface the M2 is merely yet another fast BMW… Big deal… Only, it is. Look beyond the obvious and this little car represents a much larger shift in thinking. It challenges the very definition of a modern performance car.

In a time when driving fun is directly equated with horsepower and every car is a bloated five-metre hunk of metal, the M2 is a poke in the eye of this convention. It’s about the size of an E30 M3, making 365 horsepower from its 3.0-litre straight six engine, not 1,300, because that’s adequate. It’s a two-finger salute to rivals who are constantly pushing to cram in more power and claiming spec-sheet supremacy with ever quicker, and meaningless, 0-100kph times. Straight line acceleration isn’t exactly what makes a car interesting. Or fun.

It’s reasonably comfortable when you’re pootling around and I would even call it practical, well, relatively. Granted at Dh275,000 it’s not cheap, but throw it a twisty road and the M2 will give you a grin that supercars worth five times as much will fail to.

It is a nod to the times when a driver’s car was small and nimble. It has just the right amount of performance so you can enjoy in the real world without dying or being thrown in prison for 3,000 years. It doesn’t claim supercar-shaming stats and yet it is, without a doubt, one of the most joyous and fulfilling cars we have driven all year. It takes everything that was good in motoring’s yesteryear and melds it with all that’s right with the modern automotive world. It is a step into the future with a knowing wink and a smile to the past.

These days globally fewer young people are choosing to drive. Traffic snarls, environmental concerns and autonomous motoring have ensured that.

The M2 is the antidote. It makes driving great again.

 

The votes

Amit

BMW M2 (3)

Bentley Bentayga (2)

VW Golf GTI Clubsport (1)

Sony

BMW M2 (3)

VW Golf GTI Clubsport (2)

Mercedes-Benz E-Class (1)

Imran

Porsche Panamera Turbo (3)

Bentley Bentayga (2)

Mercedes-Benz E-Class (1)

Fadi

BMW M2 (3)

Ferrari GTC4 Lusso (2)

Bentley Bentayga (1)

Kinan

Bentley Bentayga (3)

Mercedes-Benz E-Class (2)

Porsche Panamera Turbo (1)

Gary

BMW M2 (3)

McLaren 540C (2)

Mercedes-Benz E-Class (1)

Tim

Audi S8 Plus (3)

BMW M2 (2)

Mercedes-Benz E-Class (1)

Alex

McLaren 540C (3)

Mercedes-Benz E-Class (2)

Bentley Bentayga (1)

Gautam

Mercedes-Benz E-Class (3)

VW Golf GTI Clubsport (2)

BMW M2 (1)

 

Overall standings

BMW M2 (15)

Mercedes-Benz E-Class (11)

Bentley Bentayga (9)

VW Golf GTI Clubsport (5)

McLaren 540C (5)

Porsche Panamera Turbo (4)

Audi S8 Plus (3)

Ferrari GTC4 Lusso (2)