For years the Porsche Cayman dominated the compact sports car world, but since the German company decided to switch to four-cylinder turbo engines, competitors took the opportunity to strike back.
The BMW M2 Competition is a prime example of a sports car becoming better in every way; it was already a riot to drive, but BMW gave it an M4 straight-six engine that’s slightly detuned to 404hp and 405lb-ft of torque. It’s also one of the few small sports cars still available with a six-speed manual transmission.
On the other hand, the Alpine A110 takes a completely different approach. The small French sports car can’t hide its purpose-built character as it’s based on a bespoke aluminum structure with the engine in the middle and a clear focus on keeping the weight as down as possible.
Just by looking at the power figures, the Alpine seems like the clear loser here as it offers almost 150hp less than the M2 Competition, with 248hp and 236lb-ft of torque coming out of its 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder. The thing is though that the A110 is almost 500kg (1,100 pounds) lighter than the M2, putting the two sports cars really close in terms of performance.
Which one of the two is the sweetest small sports car you can buy today if you live in Europe? Let’s find out Autocar’s verdict on the video that follows.