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Best Performance Car 2024

If the new BMW M2 is the last purely petrol BMW coupé, then it’s a fine way to go out. It's a worthy Best Performance Car 2024.

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When it comes to the Best Performance Car award, we’re looking at high-performance versions of ordinary cars, rather than dedicated exotic luxury coupés and supercars.

Last year, we said that the BMW 2 Series Coupé proves you can have a great driver’s car without needing 500hp on tap. But what if it did have (almost) 500hp? Well, this year’s results have answered that very question.

Our awards recognise both the best new models to have been launched over the last 12 months, but also the best overall cars in each category – because newer doesn’t always mean better, as you can see below.

Best new performance car: BMW M2 (79%)

BMW has made our performance car award its own, with three different models in the last three years. This year, it’s the new BMW M2 that takes the trophy, and if this is the last purely petrol BMW coupé, then it’s a fine way to finish. A straight-six engine, driven through the rear wheels, has always been a recipe for success at BMW and the new M2 continues that legacy in the finest possible way. Its performance will scare a few supercars, both in a straight line and through the trickiest of corners. A triumph.

The previous-generation BMW M2 was a firm favourite among motoring journalists, and the new model picks up where the old one left off.

Class champion, petrol: Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio (88%)

Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio (2016 onwards) – Expert Rating

It’s now seven years since the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio blazed its way onto the world’s roads, which means that retirement is coming sooner rather than later. Yet it still rates more highly than pretty much anything with a price tag under £100K – and its score doesn’t include the even-faster-but-much-pricier GTA and GTAm models.

Developed by a team of Alfa and Ferrari engineers, the twin-turbo, 500hp Giulia Quadrifoglio has the sort of performance that can shame plenty of supercars – and the sort of style that makes you wish BMW could draw cars like this. With a stellar Expert Rating of 88%, the Ferrari-engined Giulia represents the last of its kind for one of the world’s oldest and most storied car companies. Get one soon before they’re gone forever.

Class champion, electric: Porsche Taycan (89%)

Porsche Taycan (2019 onwards) – Expert Rating

Even the entry-level Porsche Taycan qualifies as a performance car. But in top-of-the-range Turbo S spec, it offers 760hp – a number that puts it into genuine supercar territory.

Car enthusiasts have long feared that EVs will mean the death of sports cars, super saloons and hot hatches. But the Taycan, along with its closely related cousin, the Audi e-tron GT, have shown that this doesn’t have to be the case. Sure, things will certainly be different. But the future is much brighter than the doomsdayers would have you believe.

The Taycan offers superb driving dynamics for enthusiasts, combined with comfort and practicality for more mundane tasks like urban commuting. Plus you get the choice of liftback or estate body styles. What’s not to like? Other than the £100K-plus price tag, obviously…

The Car Expert Awards 2024

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