On paper, nothing comes close to BMW’s first M2 when it comes to premium compact performance coupes. On sale now priced from under $90,000, it undercuts BMW’s own M4 Coupe by $60,000 and is the only rear-drive turbocharged six-cylinder coupe on the market for less than $100,000. Of course, that excludes the M235i coupe on which it’s based, but the M2 delivers considerably more engine and chassis performance, and comes with a host of other M extras for a little over $12,000 more. With an annual allocation of just 300 cars for now, no wonder the Australian M2 waiting list already stretches out to late this year.

BMW M2 Coupe 2016 Review

BMW M2 Coupe 2016 Review
BMW M2 Coupe 2016 Review

We lauded it after our first drive at the global launch at Laguna Seca in February and now — after more than 800km at the wheel of BMW’s first M5, including 235km and 19 stages of this week’s Targa Tasmania tarmac rally (come back for our full feature and video later this week) – all we can say is wow.

With no direct rivals and its closest competitors being $10K-cheaper all-wheel drive German hatchbacks in the Audi RS 3 and Mercedes-AMG A 45 (pr the similarly priced CLA 45 sedan), the M2 replaces the fast but flawed 1 Series M Coupe and marks a return to the compact rear-drive sports coupe with big six formula that gained a cult following for generations of BMW M3s.

Indeed it’s the M2’s turbo-six engine and rear-drive layout that sets it apart from its rivals, with a higher-output version of the N55 3.0-litre twin-scroll single-turbo engine from the M235i on which it’s based offering almost as much performance as the M4’s twin-turbo S55 3.0-litre six.Read more

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