The BMW M2 is the anti-driverless car

BMW M2BMW Group2016 BMW M2

The 2016 BMW M2 is the renaissance of the pure-bred 2-door sports coupe.

Enthusiasts and automotive journalists have been salivating over the 365-horsepower, rear-wheel-drive Bavarian hot-rod since last year.

The M2 is, at its core, a muscular six-cylinder engine shoe-horned into the body of a BMW 2-series — the sheet metal of which has been contoured and flexed to look like it’s been crushing its New Year’s fitness goals.

There’s something else that the M2 nails exceptionally well; it’s a driver’s car.

PCWorld’s Jon Phillips summed it up nicely in his behind-the-wheel review, saying the M2 “hits pause on the driverless tech discussion.”

We’ve been talking a lot lately about the next generation of motoring — all manner of autonomous and self-driving technologies. If you’re a superstitious car enthusiast, you’d probebaly think it’s all just a coordinated plot to wrest our precious steering wheels away.

There’s nothing driverless about the M2

Quite the opposite, in fact. Phillips fondly describes driving the scrappy coupe as a “throughly driver-full” experience. Cars like the M2 “serve as a blockade against the creeping spread of soulless technology,” Phillips suggests, referring to the car industry’s steady march toward automation.

The M2 is a car that’s meant to be wound around tight corners, and hustled off the line from a dead stop.

BMW sets the agenda for the M2 in short order — go fast, and do it quickly. The message is trumpeted from those quad exhaust pipes out back …

… and that gaping scowl up front.

A rowdy scoundrel

During his drive at Laguna Seca Raceway in Northern California, Phillips artfully described how the M2 demands the driver’s undivided attention. It’s here to be driven. “This is not a car that’s designed to wait patiently for algorithm guidance at stoplights,” Phillips snarks. A subtle jab at self-driving vehicles that are characteristically well-mannered.

Autonomous technology has one job: promote safety and efficiency. Things like keeping our cars firmly planted, in one lane, and within a safe distance of surrounding vehicles. According to Phillips, driving the M2 is an exercise in “computer-controlled rear-end drifts.”

Translation: this car has a penchant for not driving in a straight line.

The M2 hits dealers this spring, and could end up being a smart move for BMW. The thirst for purebred rear-wheel-drive sport coupes has reached critical levels of late, and a BMW M car is widely considered the pinnacle of this segment.

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