A lot of the time I find today's automotive writing a bit of a snoozer. The content is predictable and everyone is trying to do their best Jeremy Clarkson impression.

Except it's like a shitty Elvis impersonator. It's not even close to the real deal.

But every once and a while a publication surprises me. This time around it is Autocar.

That's because it put two vehicles together in a pretty cool head-to-head. That would be the new BMW M2 Competition versus the legend, the E46 M3 CSL. Comparing the two M cars is certainly interesting. Mostly because they are quite different in delivery and character.

So, which would YOU have?

...These days we’re supposed to be impressed by mammoth torque outputs conjured barely above idle; 7900rpm is the sort of engine speed at which only six-figure flights of fancy, usually Italian, finally give up everything they’ve got. Written on the spec sheet of a relatively attainable sports coupé, it feels wrong. Sinful, even. 

And damn exciting. BMW’s straight six for the millennium – the 3.2-litre S54 – is one reason why prices for even enthusiastically owned examples of the E46 M3 are inexorably on the up. Other reasons include its sweet chassis and near-perfect proportions. For many, when production ended in 2006, it also was the last time the world’s archetypal driver’s car was neither too tubby nor turbocharged. The E46 M3 was der sweet spot, and in terms of pure synaptic pleasure it seems unlikely any successor will get the better of it.

But what if you could exchange some of that magic for an M-car considerably quicker, truly civilised day to day and, whisper it, maybe even a bit more fun? Or, to put it another way, just how good is the new M2 Competition when your yardstick is the best there has ever been...?

Read Article

CAR WARS! Sibling Rivalry Edition: BMW M2 Competition Vs. BMW M3 (E46) CSL

About the Author