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.

“I am a community journalist because that is where the greatest need is. There are many sources of information and opinion about international and national issues. But most people are more affected by what happens in their local communities. That is where they live, work and shop. That is where their children go to school. That is where their elected officials, business owners and labor leaders are most accessible. And that is why people need the most current information what is happening — or, more importantly, what is going to happen — in their communities. Providing accurate and up-to-date information that people need to make well-informed decisions on the issues they care about is what community journalism is all about.”

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