The advent of a full-blooded compact M car has been rather long in the pot.
Two years later we got the next best thing: the BMW M235i, a car based on the then-new BMW 2 Series and breathed on heavily by M division. We like it very much. But the real thing it conspicuously wasn’t, even after it was reworked slightly and called the BMW M240i.
Now though, with the 2 Series very much a separate entity – and the awkward nomenclature problem encountered by the 1M fixed – the kosher version lands.
As a flagship, it fits the billing. Flagrantly muscular in the arches (in likeable contrast to the M240i), unmistakably succinct (in likeable contrast to the BMW M4) and undoubtedly butch underneath (it’s 30bhp more powerful than the 1M), the M2 appears to be the machine we were after.
And at £46,430 it is – appropriately – by far the cheapest way into the bona fide M car range.
That price makes it noticeably more expensive than the equally powerful Mercedes-AMG A45 and Audi RS3 and also puts it handily between the Audi TTS and the Porsche 718 Cayman and the more powerful Audi TT RS and Porsche Cayman S, the models closest to the M2’s two-door coupé format.