Tearaway M2 picks up junior ‘M’ car mantle from bulging, limited-run 1M and introduces 'junior M4' looks.

Design: Looks every bit a pint-sized ball of muscle but pumped arches and tall flanks disguise true dimensions. These translate into four-seater practicality and decent boot space. Lacks the M4’s graceful looks that come from extra length and width.

Driver’s Seat: 1-series derived cabin offers familiar BMW character and is sporting but unspectacular. It’s lifted by a hit of luxury, M badging, contrast-stitched leather and Alcantara, and some carbonfibre cladding. Driver benefits from fine ergonomics and a firm, sculpted seat that is set higher than a sports car’s but affords a good view.

Interface: Principal focus for drivers will be stunning thick-rimmed M Sport steering wheel with prominent paddle shifters. There’s a functional simplicity to displays and the controller for the impressive Generation-Six iDrive system is within easy reach, making for an efficient workspace.

Start-up: Despite same capacity as M3/M4 engine, the M2’s unit has actually evolved from M135i powerplant. If you want it to, the starter button will bring engine to life in a raucous manner thanks to fitment of optional M Performance exhaust system with elaborate carbonfibre tailpipe finishers. Full noise requires activating a red button concealed inside the boot and is worth investigating.

Cruise: The seven-speed dual-clutch auto is the default option in our market and it shows the M2 in a very good light. The M2 feels fairly relaxed and docile when ambling along but clearly transfers to the driver sensations from the road surface beneath. There’s a slight rawness from the stiffened and reinforced suspension that most drivers would not want ironed out, and the noise of the exhaust tends to dominate.

Overtake: Sport mode positivity of steering and double-clutch transmission is welcome when exploiting ample torque of twin-scroll turbo three-litre. This engine’s plain figures are hard to argue with but overboost of 35Nm is available between 1400 and 4750rpm. Its terrific thrum through the mid-range becomes a prodigious roar as the 7000rpm redline approaches. Super-quick gear changes are generally jolt-free.

Unleash: Electronically controlled multi-plate M differential comes to the fore in the hands of keen drivers. Responsive steering is in keeping with great stability in the bends and the brakes have the feel and strength to match. Gets lively when road quality falls away, meaning Sport+ setting is better left to smooth track work.

Configure: Double-spoke 19-inch M alloys in black are the sole choice, Long Beach blue paint is a no-cost option. You might consider some extra safety tech from a $1300 Driving Assistant package or an electric glass sunroof for $2000 but more likely to be swayed by wireless phone charging, DAB tuner or Apple CarPlay prep.

Buy one: Beautifully engineered and high-quality coupe delivers the feelgood factor on every outing. Chuckable due to compact size yet surprisingly practical. Quite distinct in character and composition from bigger M4 and an interesting alternative to some pure sportscars.


ENGINE 2998cc 6-cyl twin-turbo

POWER 272kW (365bhp)

TORQUE 465Nm @ 1400-5560rpm

TRANSMISSION 7-spd dual-clutch auto

DRIVETRAIN rear-wheel drive

LENGTH 4.47m

WEIGHT 1595kg

WHEELS 19-inch alloy

TYRES 245/35 (f) 265/35 (r)

0-100km/h 4.3 secs

FUEL CLAIM 7.9L/100km

PRICE from $117,050


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