THE G.O.A.T Inside the mesmerising ‘Messi of cars’ BMW M2 that’s small, fast and precise – and will impress your friends at 20mph

FOR almost 50 years, BMW proudly traded on the ad slogan the ultimate driving machine”.

No one objected.

Not only is the M2 the best Beemer I’ve driven pound for pound, it’s arguably the G.O.A.T

Not only is the M2 the best Beemer I’ve driven pound for pound, it’s arguably the G.O.A.TCredit: UWE FISCHER

M2 is much like an M4 that’s been shrunk in the wash

M2 is much like an M4 that’s been shrunk in the washCredit: UWE FISCHER

That magnificent 3-litre straight-six is 460hp, the perfect amount of power for a car of this size and weight

That magnificent 3-litre straight-six is 460hp, the perfect amount of power for a car of this size and weightCredit: UWE FISCHER

Not Audi.

Not Merc.

Not even the bods at the Advertising Standards Authority.

Because it was widely accepted to be true.

The formula was simple: straight-six engines, manual gear-box, rear-wheel drive, pilot sat nice and low.

How things have changed.

Today, BMW badges are splattered all over front-wheel drive hatchbacks, jacked-up SUVs, electro-boxes and MPVs.

Not quite the same formula.

But it doesn’t matter because it’s all about the ’gram.

Luckily, there are people at BMW still obsessed with creating elite performance cars for proper enthusiasts.

They work for M.

Two years ago, M went berserk and gave us the extraordinary M3 and M4 coupe. My cheek muscles were still aching a week after trying them.

Now it’s time for the baby M2.

I won’t keep you guessing . . . not only is this the best Beemer I’ve driven pound for pound, it’s arguably the G.O.A.T.

Small, fast, smooth, precise, untouchable on a twisty road, genuine magic from top to toe. Lionel Messi on wheels. It’s that good.

In fact, the M2 is much like an M4 that’s been shrunk in the wash.

Same engine, same trick chassis, same rear-drive set-up, same track width — but shorter wheelbase.

Which is exactly why it has the edge pinballing from corner to corner at substantial speeds.

It’s also lighter. And almost £20k cheaper.

Smoky drifts

That magnificent 3-litre straight-six is 460hp, the perfect amount of power for a car of this size and weight.

It outguns the old M2 by 90hp and the limited-run CS by 10hp.

The next CS will top it for sure but I’ll stick here, thank you very much. You can see the performance figures in the Key Facts box.

Now you have a choice to make: Six-speed manual feeding the rears or eight-speed Steptronic auto? Weirdly, the manual costs you £545 extra.

I loved the manual — you’ll do most of your business in third gear — but I have to say the paddle-shift auto was faster than my brain in full-attack mode and made me all tingly.

It’ll also do multiple downshifts and won’t force upshifts in manual mode, even when the engine’s hit the rev limiter. It sounds so, so good. Everything else is everything you want it to be, too.

Electronically controlled dampers settle the car immediately over bumps. The fast-ratio steering only needs small hand movements. The brakes are like anchors.

Of course, you can adjust all that to suit your mood — and then save your favourites using the red M1 and M2 shortcut buttons on the steering wheel.

Nothing but the usual BMW excellence in the cabin — nice blend of screens and hard controls, top-notch materials and M detailing

Nothing but the usual BMW excellence in the cabin — nice blend of screens and hard controls, top-notch materials and M detailing

You can also impress friends doing just 20mph.

Set the ten-stage traction control system to zero for smoky drifts and donuts.

Did I try it? No, officer. But ask me privately and I might give you a different answer.

Nothing but the usual BMW excellence in the cabin — nice blend of screens and hard controls, top-notch materials and M detailing.

There isn’t much room for grown-ups in the back — Messi would be fine — but the boot is a useful size.

So that’s the M2.

Mesmerising.

Engineers have gone all-in to make this little car “the ultimate driving machine”, knowing there won’t be another one like it.

Without a plug, anyway.

I loved the manual — you’ll do most of your business in third gear — but I have to say the paddle-shift auto was faster than my brain in full-attack mode

I loved the manual — you’ll do most of your business in third gear — but I have to say the paddle-shift auto was faster than my brain in full-attack modeCredit: UWE FISCHER

The Beemer is Lionel Messi on wheels - it’s that good

The Beemer is Lionel Messi on wheels – it’s that goodCredit: Rex

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