THIS is the new BMW M235i Gran Coupé that's your typical wolf in sheep's clothing.
The four-door coupé is so deceiving, that when I was randomly stopped at a Garda checkpoint during the lockdown phase 2, even the on-duty cop was amazed with this beauty and the beast and admitted he would never have guessed it was a proper M2.
The success story of four-door BMW coupés began in 2012 with the BMW 6-Series Gran Coupé, followed two years later by the BMW 4-Series Gran Coupé.
In 2019, at the Los Angeles Auto Show, BMW added to its range by introducing the all-new sleek 2-Series Gran Coupé.
We have already written about the new 2-Series Gran Coupé in 220d form, but this range-topping M235i bad boy is a different kettle of fish altogether.
For some reason BMW doesn't badge the 1- and 2-Series models as the proper M1 and M2 - it just uses the 1/235i names instead - even though they hail from the full M-Sport division.
What is not to be confused with this model though, is that it is not the full-fat M2 rear-wheel drive, six-cylinder machine we tested a good few years back.
The 2.0-litre unit under the bonnet of the M235i xDrive is the BMW Group's most powerful four-cylinder engine, delivering a maximum output of 306hp with the help of BMW TwinPower Turbo technology. It is the same engine used in other powerful yet small models in the BMW family - like the MINI John Cooper Works.
Peak torque is 450Nm, which helps it to achieve the benchmark zero to 100km/h sprint in 4.9 seconds, while top speed is limited to 250km/h.
BMW claim that the M235i will return 7.1-6.7 litres/100km, but honestly I got nowhere near that during my week-long test drive - especially if you are going to have a bit of fun is sports mode.
In addition to all the equipment you would get in the 220d M-Sport model - the range-topping BMW 235i xDrive comes with exclusive Cerium grey 18-inch alloys, M235i M Sport suspension, rear spoiler, M Performance exhaust system, Limited Slip Differential on the front axle and eight-speed sport automatic transmission featuring launch control.
BMW Performance Control also feature on the BMW M235i xDrive, which is equipped with BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive as standard.
It can split drive 50:50 if necessary and is designed to ensure predictable handling in all driving situations - still definitely not as much fun as rear-wheel drive though.
Prices for the new 2-Series Gran Coupé range start at range from €34,170, while this bad boy 235i will having you digging much deeper into that bank account with a starting price tag of €52,220.
Little bit on the pricey side for me.