If it ain't broke, make it better - that seems to be what BMW has done for its M2 Competition
BMW M2's fierce Competition The BMW M2 Competition is responsive to steering input while its wheels maintain superb grip. PHOTO: YANG

The hot-blooded potential missing in the previous BMW M2 has been addressed - in the M2 Competition.

The changes, including a power boost and a carbon-fibre brace in the engine bay, have made a worthy king in the 2-series range and a car which is as happy to be slinging around corners as it is hurtling down straights at speeds best left unprinted.

And with cars like the Porsche 718 Cayman S and Mercedes-AMG A35 bearing four-cylinder engines, the M2's inline-six makes it all the more desirable.

Pert, and with sublime proportions, the M2 Competition looks the part of a track machine too. Wide haunches, a black kidney grille and aerodynamic wing mirrors set it apart from its stablemates, while a darkened M2 Competition badge on the rear proclaims its pedigree.

New 19-inch forged alloys shod in Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres house massive M Sport brakes, gripped by six-and four-piston callipers front and rear respectively.

In the cabin, clear and simple dials underscore the purist theme, yet you are snugly cocooned in power-adjustable M Sport seats with a lit M2 Competition logo, in case you mistake it for another of your M cars.

With a simple button press, its smooth-shifting seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox can alter its ferocity from donkey kick to friendly nudge, making it usable in any occasion.

Two buttons on the steering wheel allow you to save different drive configurations and access them on the fly.

I amused myself by leaving the engine in Sport Plus mode, which makes the quad tailpipes burble and rumble like thunder, even at 30kmh.

On the road, the M2 Competition's passive dampers make for a firm but yielding ride around town, and supremely composed progress at expressway speeds.

Its tactile steering never bucks in your hands and constantly communicates what the front wheels are doing, even if it does not telegraph much to you about road conditions.

The car's short wheelbase means the M2 Competition responds immediately to steering input while its Michelins maintain superb grip.

Give it some beans and the straight-six launches the rear-wheel-drive to 100kmh in 4.2 seconds. The highly responsive 410hp twin-turbo engine (from the M3 and M4) is virtually lag-free at the lower end, is eager to rev and retains its power in the upper reaches.

The engine has 40hp more than the previous M2 and a whopping 85Nm more torque. It is such a sweet unit that you cannot help but wring it out again and again just to feel the revs climb effortlessly.

A lovely soundtrack accompanies the speed, with the roar of the straight-six blending with the turbo whoosh to elicit a very visceral sound.

When the dust has settled, what we ultimately have here is an excellent car which celebrates driver involvement. If you have held back on a two-door coupe, now is the time to jump in.