▶ Why is it here?

Even though it’s not a hatchback, the M240i is clearly aimed at precisely the same buyers as the RS3 and A45: keen drivers with disposable income and at most modest family commitment­s.

The lineage goes back to M versions of the 1-series, which were more obviously high-end hot hatches, whereas this latest iteration is at heart a scaleddown 4-series. BMW insists on calling it a 2-series, even though it has precious little in common with the Gran Coupe and Active Tourer. Although bigger and heavier than the last generation, it has the great combinatio­n of sti†er body and more compliant suspension.

▶ Any clever stu ?

The genius is in the way everything is put together. If, however, we can single out one neat detail, it’s the Sprint function that comes with the Steptronic Sport transmissi­on.

The driver simply holds on to the ‘down’ paddle for one second, and the transmissi­on changes into the lowest usable gear, giving a burst of accelerati­on that’s more useful than Launch Control.

▶ Which version is this?

The M240i xDrive Coupe. It’s the range-topper for the 2-series coupe line-up – the others being the rear-wheeldrive 220i and 220d. The M240i is only available with xDrive (the rear-biased allwheel-drive system), an eightspeed automatic gearbox and the straight-six engine from the M3/M4, here making 369bhp. Upgraded M Sport brakes are £300 well spent as part of the M Technology pack.

In the UK there’s only one version, fitted as standard with M Sport suspension and variable sport steering, priced from £45,795. An M2 will follow later this year; can it really be a better road car than this?

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