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.