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There is something undoubtedly alluring about a powerful rear-drive coupé such as the M240i. This is a part of the market where affordability makes compromise common – where hatchback-based front-drive pseudo-coupés jostle with true three-box designs.

With the 2 Series, however, BMW has seized the opportunity to offer both a purer vision of a downsized two-door and a proper BMW to boot, with a longways engine, driven rear wheels and the unmistakable separation of roof and bootline that makes a coupé a coupé. It’s a commitment that has produced a distinctive, desirable car. Using this fine blueprint BMW also whipped the roof off and replaced it with fabric in the shape of the convertible - and to their credit have also included the M240i into that range too.

BMW's M Sport brakes are standard, with four-piston calipers up front

Because it’s a 2 Series, of course, a bit of growth relative to the 1 Series coupé was inevitable. So the M240i is 110mm longer than an M140i three-door, as well as 72mm longer than the old 135i coupé.

The car’s styling is distinguished from that of the 1 Series hatchback, with which it shares some panels, by different headlights and bumpers. You can spot an M240i new M3 and M4 is an even more substantially respecified N55. Codenamed S55, it has power and torque outputs that are both well into the 400s.

In all cases, the N55 uses one twin-scroll turbocharger, whereas the old N54 had two. Equally confusingly, Alpina’s current B3 saloon uses the N55 block, but the firm junks BMW’s single twin-scroll turbocharger and fits two separate blowers of its own design.