What is the best BMW sports car? – cinch


a light blue BMW M2 CS driving around a country roadThe BMW M2[1] is the smallest proper pedigree M car you can buy and rivals the likes of the Porsche[2] Cayman and Audi[3] TTRS, so it has some tough competition. 

The favourite among the range is the M2 CS, which is a more powerful, more aggressive-looking ‘standard’ M2 that has better driving dynamics and a manual gearbox (the automatic DCT is also available) for increased driver involvement. 

Power comes from a twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre straight-six engine that produces 410hp and 550Nm of torque, allowing for a 0-62mph time of just 4.2 seconds. 


a dark green bmw m3 driving on a race trackThe M3 is BMW’s flagship family sports car with four seats[4], a rapid powertrain and the choice of rear-wheel-drive or xDrive for four-wheel-drive performance in all weather conditions. 

BMW’s M3 saloon is based on the standard 3 Series[5] but behaves in a totally different manner. Power comes from a twin-turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine that produces 510hp and 650Nm of torque, with a 0-62mph time of just 3.5 seconds. 

It’s one of the best ways into M car ownership, with the model lineup stretching back all the way to the E30 generation of 1986. 


A yellow BMW M4 Coupé driving through some hillsBMW’s M4 is a coupé version of the M3 with two doors instead of four. This means it’s sportier to drive and is much less practical if you have a family, which is why it tends to be bought and driven by a younger demographic. 

It’s powered by the same twin-turbocharged six-cylinder engine as in the M3 and M2 but with the most power at 551hp if you opt for the CSL variant – the lesser M4 Competition gets 510hp. 

Unlike the M2, the M4 is available exclusively with an eight-speed automatic gearbox in the UK but other markets did get a six-speed manual gearbox.

In either configuration, it’s a hoot to drive and rapid over any road, but slightly slippery in the wet. 


a dark satin green BMW M5 CS with gold accents driving on a country roadThe BMW M5[6] Competition is often regarded as one of the best sporty family cars money can buy.

If you want the most practicality then go for the Audi RS6, but if it’s ‘fun behind the wheel’ you’re after, get the Beemer in Competition spec. 

Power comes from a meaty twin-turbocharged 4.4-litre V8 engine that produces 607hp and 750Nm of torque, which not only produces an insane exhaust note but is also plenty of fun as you work up the revs. 

You haven’t been able to buy a new manual M5 since 2012, and even that was exclusive to the U.S. market.

We're actually glad about this because having that much power sent straight to the rear wheels via a manual would be a real handful. 

BMW M8 Competition

a light blue BMW M8 Competition parked in a carpark at sunsetBMW’s M8 Competition[7] is one of the most expensive brand-new M cars money can buy, with a price tag well into the six figures.  

But with this, you get a car that’s sole purpose in life is to get you places – quickly. It’s the ultimate grand tourer, capable of firing itself from one end of Europe to the other in no time, and to the untrained eye is just a ‘cool-looking BMW’. 

This sleek two-door coupé is powered by a twin-turbocharged 4.4-litre V8 petrol engine that produces 625hp in range-topping M8 Competition guise.

If you need a car to get you across countries in no time, this is for you.

BMW i8

Way ahead of its time and looking like something E.T. would phone home to, the i8 is one of the most interesting cars BMW has ever made. 

It may be powered by the same turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine found in a Mini Cooper[8], but it’s aided by an electric motor that helps it launch itself from 0-62mph in just 4.4 seconds. 

What adds to its sporty edge is its dihedral doors and thermoplastic body, which help it reach its low overall weight of 1,595kg.  


 a purple BMW Z4 convertible parked on dirtThe world of small sports cars[9] was lost for a couple of years between Z4 models[10].

No one knew quite what to do with themselves, but when it came back in 2018, it wasn’t quite the instant hit BMW hoped. 

It was relaunched alongside the revived Toyota Supra,[11] which confused fans at first, but now both models are settling into their niches.  

The new Z4 is powered by either a 2.0-litre four-cylinder or a 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine, with the latter being the most popular.

It can currently only be had with an automatic gearbox, but it’s possible a manual gearbox could be coming to U.S. markets soon to match the Supra. 


 an orange BMW 1M driving on a mountain roadThe predecessor to the M2 was the BMW 1M – a fine motor car that’s capable of putting modern hot hatches to shame around any track or mountain road.  

It was a bit of a ‘parts bin special’, with its six-cylinder engine from the Z4, rear suspension and brakes from the E92 M3 – and driving dynamics from the gods. 

While BMW no longer makes the 1M, you can buy the BMW M135i,[12] which is the closest thing you can get to it without spending M2 money. 

BMW M3 Touring

a dark blue bmw m3 touring driving on a UK country roadOne of the more recent additions to BMW’s arsenal is the long-awaited M3 Touring, which blew the minds of journalists and M Sport fans when it launched in 2022. 

It’s essentially a standard M3 with a greenhouse strapped to the back, making it more practical than ever before – with 500 litres of boot space. 

Under the bonnet is the same unit as in the M3 Competition: a 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged engine with 510hp and 650Nm of torque.

Despite its size, it still drives and handles superbly, giving the Audi RS6 and Mercedes E63 Estate a run for their money. 

BMW M5 Touring

 a sneak peek at the new BMW M5 Touring's rearWe’ve been without an M5 Touring for more than 13 years, but it’s coming back with a bang. The last one we had was a V10 monster that wasn’t the most reliable, but it was a lot of fun to drive. 

Now, we’re getting a 4.4-litre V8 with plug-in hybrid technology that produces 780hp and 999Nm of torque. 

It’s going to be a real handful on the road while also being as practical as any other estate, with more than 500 litres of boot space.  


  1. ^ BMW M2 (www.cinch.co.uk)
  2. ^ Porsche (www.cinch.co.uk)
  3. ^ Audi (www.cinch.co.uk)
  4. ^ family sports car with four seats (www.cinch.co.uk)
  5. ^ 3 Series (www.cinch.co.uk)
  6. ^ BMW M5 (www.cinch.co.uk)
  7. ^ M8 Competition (www.cinch.co.uk)
  8. ^ Mini Cooper (www.cinch.co.uk)
  9. ^ small sports cars (www.cinch.co.uk)
  10. ^ Z4 models (www.cinch.co.uk)
  11. ^ Toyota Supra, (www.cinch.co.uk)
  12. ^ BMW M135i, (www.cinch.co.uk)