Architecturally, the cabin is identical to the Competition’s, but it borrows elements seen in the recent M3 and M4 CS, not least the bucket seats, which are marginally chunkier than the regular M2 buckets and feature racy cut-outs.

Further marking out the CS is the not so subtle motif cut into the Alcantara dashboard covering and a carbonfibre transmission tunnel casing, which weighs half that of the standard plastic piece in the Competition. Big deal, you might very well say.

Slimline gearshift paddles feel reasonably serious and are nicely made, but a bit more tactility and drama wouldn’t go amiss. Better still, we’d take the manual.

What you won’t find in here are the redundant fabric door pulls BMW has in the past fitted to CS derivatives (redundant because the normal door handles remained) but neither do you get an armrest or central storage cubby. In a machine that ultimately weighs no less than its less fierce siblings, this seems an unnecessary and vain sacrifice of something genuinely useful.

Those looking for something widely different and exciting in comparison with the M2 Competition – something, perhaps, to help justify the extra £25,000 – will therefore probably be slightly disappointed.

However, ergonomically, the M2’s cockpit is as well sorted and comfortable as that of any other front-engined tin-top performance car short of the very finest GT cars from Ferrari and Aston Martin. Back row seats are still best reserved for kids but, in the front, the manually adjustable steering column should allow almost anyone to bring the overly thick-rimmed steering wheel, trimmed in Alcantara, right out towards their chest. Our car’s optional electric seats offer similar versatility.

Back to top

Being based on the mass-produced 2 Series Coupé, the M2 CS also touts good luggage space within its deep boot – more, certainly, than you’ll get with the Porsche Cayman GT4 and far more than with anything from Lotus. There’s also a useful hatch that folds down between the rear seats.

BMW M2 CS infotainment and sat-nav

BMW’s current iDrive infotainment set-up is arguably the best of its kind and so, quite apart from the fact that the M2 CS’s priorities reside elsewhere in the package, the system has been left well alone.

The set-up consists primarily of an 8.8in display and a rotary controller on the transmission tunnel, although the screen is also touch-sensitive. There are further, well-defined physical controls for the volume and climate control, so there’s no need for the driver to fumble around with haptic feedback and finding the right menu, which is just as well given the car’s potency.

Only the lack of a central cubby frustrates. The opportunity for one has been lost along with the armrest, so the only USB port sits exposed at the back of the transmission tunnel. It means that should you plug your phone in to use Apple CarPlay (Android Auto is not offered), you’ll need to find somewhere for the cable to go.