But in both cases there was good reason to temper the adulation. The 1M could be a little numb to steer and quite uncompromising in its spring rates, while the M240i, on adaptive dampers, never really threatened to settle into the kind of groove that would have marked it out as a plausible threat to the all-conquering Cayman.
The M2, as we expected, is dramatically closer to the finished article. For a start, lessons learned from the 1M have clearly been applied.
The passive suspension fitted to its successor is cannily capable of offering a benign level of ride comfort on British roads, despite the obvious level of seriousness still being conveyed by the chassis.
Certainly, the M2 is stiff in a way that ought to feel unfamiliar to an M240i driver, not only in the obvious buttressing of its body control but also in the unprocessed way it responds to the road.
Unlike its cheaper sibling, the out-and-out M car is adept at hunkering down onto a B-road on its obviously broader footprint, reimbursing driver input not just with the feeling of remarkable directional stability but also the limber enthusiasm of a legitimate sports car, and it manages this despite still featuring imperfect steering.