The BMW M2 Coupe is the least expensive genuine M series car in the German manufacturer’s current lineup. Although that should seem obvious because the compact 2 series is BMW’s least expensive car, the company has muddied the waters in recent years by offering M Sport option packages for practically all vehicles that improve performance while not achieving the heights of the stand alone M models.

Just to be clear, all versions of the 2 series are excellent cars. And when ordered with the M Sport package, the 230i Coupe is designated the M240i or M240ixDrive Coupe with all-wheel-drive. But the M2 Couple is the superstar of the series. It comes standard with a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder that produces 453 horsepower, the choice of a rare 6-speed manual transmission or 8-speed M Steptronic with manual shift modes, a specially tuned suspension, bigger brakes, and unique exterior and interior trim.

Jim Redden is a reporter based in Portland, Ore.

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