Put simply, the M2 is the kind of car that you’ll be looking for excuses to drive. The straight-six engine may not be quite as potent as the one in the pricier BMW M4, but acceleration is still seriously impressive. The M2 took just 4.5 seconds to sprint from 0-60mph in our tests when equipped with the standard six-speed manual gearbox; BMW claims the optional DCT automatic version is even quicker.
The M2 is about more than just straight-line speed, though. If you cycle through Comfort and Sport modes and up into Sport+, the traction and stability control systems will allow more slip before kicking in. If you have access to a test track you can even turn the electronic aids off entirely, at which point the M2 becomes really quite playful.
Thankfully, making sure the rear tyres get exactly the right amount of power is easy. The engine may be turbocharged but it responds quickly with just the briefest of pauses when you put your foot down. There's lots to like about the steering, too. The weighting feels natural and there’s plenty of feedback filtering up through the front tyres to your fingertips, although the rival Porsche Cayman steers even more sweetly.
Similarly, the M2 isn't as agile as a Cayman through bends because of its higher centre of gravity, although it resists lean pretty well without suffering from an overly stiff ride. It's firm, but the M2 deals with bumps effectively enough, if not quite as adroitly as the rival Porsche Cayman.
As standard, the M2 comes with the aforementioned six-speed manual gearbox, although a seven-speed DCT automatic is optional. While the manual can be slightly obstructive if you’re changing gear really quickly, we'd still pick it over the pricey auto for the added level of interaction it gives.