Dynamic drive, active steering – who needs it?

There are just two buttons that alter the driving characteristics of the BMW 1-series M Coupe – one turns off the ESP and the other, mounted on the steering wheel, alters the throttle mapping of the 337bhp straight six, although the storm of torque stirred by its twin turbos  is so swamping that you barely need it.

Otherwise, this is one of the most refreshingly straightforward of cars to drive. It’s a manual. It has manually adjusted seats, just the one setting for its dampers and a solitary map for its Servotronic steering. You just need to 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 this is a hugely fast car.

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 fulsome assault on the space-time continuum.

Dare to keep the throttle squashed, and the M gains momentum like avalanching snow. Deploying its power, then, is a simple thing too. Just as simple is the obediently assured way it deals with corners, and this despite the ever-growing temptation to deep-dip the accelerator, and a surprising bounciness through bump-crested bends.