There’s a set of roads I grew up on, far from the metropolitan sidewalks and boulevards that currently serve as the boundary markers in my adopted city. The kind of asphalt seemingly drawn on the map by a pendulum suspended in the passenger seat of a WRC car blasting full-tilt down an alpine rally stage.
They served as my nursery when I first started driving, teaching me the fundamentals of opposite lock, car control, and how to call my father at 2 a.m. to come tow me out of an icy ditch. A natural, then, for exercising the all-new 2016 BMW M2, the latest addition to the German brand’s growing stable of M-badged performance vehicles.
I’ve also returned to my old stomping grounds for another, more specific reason: it was here, not more than a year ago, that I flogged the BMW M235i, the next-most-potent compact coupe in the 2 Series family and one that also features a certain letter as a badge of honor on its nameplate. The chance to compare two ‘M’ cars, built off of the same chassis and claiming a similar heritage, on roads as familiar to me as the sun filtering through the maples and pines that line them, was something I couldn’t pass up.
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