Adaptive drive, integral active steering, driving dynamic control – who needs ‘em?

There are just two buttons that alter the driving characteristics of the BMW M Coupe – one turns off the ESP and the other, mounted on the steering wheel, alters the throttle mapping of the 340bhp straight six, although the storm of torque stirred by its twin turbos is so swamping that you barely need it.

Otherwise, this is a refreshingly straightforward car to drive. It’s a manual. It has manually adjusted seats, an unalterable setting for its dampers and a solitary map for its Servotronic steering. You just get in it, and drive.  And if you’d planned to be somewhere in an hour, there’s a good chance that traffic permitting, you’ll be arriving well before that, because it’s hugely fast.

Whatever the gear, whatever the revs, arcing that floor-mounted accelerator through a chunk of its travel will squish this BMW’s full-fat rubber into the tarmac for a solid assault on the space-time continuum. Dare to keep the throttle sunk, and the M gains momentum like avalanching snow.

Deploying its power, then, is simple. Just as simple is the obediently assured way it deals with corners, and this despite the ever-growing temptation to deep-dip the accelerator, coupled to a surprising bounciness through scab-crested bends. Bounciness? Show it a small, jabbing walnut lump of a bump and this BMW squirms it away, just as it soaks up long, heaving crests. But launch it over anything in between, and it suspension jerks and checks in a way that has you wondering whether the road is going to fling you into a high-speed slither.