2020 BMW M2 CS vs. 2021 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4: Surprise, Surprise

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2020 BMW M2 CS vs. 2021 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4: Surprise, Surprise

Make a list. Write down every sports car that still offers a manual transmission. Now, cross out each one that doesn’t offer it on the highest-performance trim. Next, cross out each one with an automatic option that isn’t good enough to make you choose it over the manual. How many cars are you left with? You can count them on two hands, can’t you? Drop anything with more than two doors, and you’re down to one hand; two of the protagonists still standing are the 2020 BMW M2 CS and the 2021 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4.

The door is closing on a unique time in sports car history: There was a period between the early 2000s and the late teens when we had an underappreciated cornucopia of transmission choice. Manual transmissions were as good as they’d ever been, single-clutch automated manuals offered enough of a performance advantage to make track-day enthusiasts and racers take notice, and the advent of dual-clutch automated manuals sealed the deal. For a relatively brief time, you really could choose either a traditional manual or a modern dual-clutch automatic and make the right decision either way.

The 2020 BMW M2 CS and 2021 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 are the last two competitors for which that is true, and not for long, as the sun sets on this generation of 2 Series and its dual-clutch. Before it goes, BMW sends it off with the CS, a special edition with an extra helping of horsepower, active dampers, and tree-sap tires. It is the best sports car BMW has built in decades, if not ever. For the full story, check out this article from Motor Trend.

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