Previously, we suggested that with the 1M, BMW had confirmed that it still knew what ingredients were essential to the building of a legitimate M car.

After the sometimes uneven M3/M4, the 1M’s spiritual follow-up is further corroboration of that fact.

Smallest M car is also the best. Rapid, brawny and very nearly brilliant

Its passively sprung but provocatively capable chassis is the antidote to its bigger brother’s preoccupation with adaptive modes.

The M2 downscales M’s ambitions when it comes to creating a drive mode for every circumstance, but upscales its repressed talent for tuning a steel and aluminium suspension system to do it all unaided.

Fused with a turbocharged engine that feels shoehorned in rather than filling the void left by a V8, the car – helpfully the cheapest – feels like the most satisfying option in the M-badged range.

Although the Porsche 718 Cayman regained its crown from the M2, it set a gauntlet that would appear daunting to many others who try to usurp the baby M BMW. As a result, it has the legs on the Audi TTS and five-cylinder bruiser the TT RS, Lotus Elise Cup 250, Alfa 4C and Jaguar F-Type.


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