The M4 remains a compelling proposition, however. It offers striking and tangible handling poise, fine precision and superb controllability, along with trademark M division positivity of feel flowing through its axles, driveline and engine and back through to its controls.
So it’s indulgent to drive but also more usable than ever, and the way the configurability of its driving experience can be negotiated via the steering wheel-mounted driving mode shortcut toggles is truly rare in a modern performance car driving experience: complexity brought emphatically to heel.
Perhaps it lacks a certain rawness, but its blend of versatility and engagement makes it a stand-out option.
In truth, this car is no longer on sale, but given that the upcoming Alpina B4 will be available only in four-door, Gran Coupe form, we’re minded to keep the superb two-door coupe of the previous generation on this list a while longer.
Whereas the F82 Alpina B4 always felt undeniably rapid, the B4 S coupé that replaced it in 2017 was a serious high-performance machine. It wasn’t the power (up 30bhp to 434bhp) but that additional torque (hiked by more than 10% to 486lb ft) that provided real-world performance a clear step ahead of its predecessor’s.
It’s a softer car than the old M4 (and by extension of that, also the new one) of which it’s a sort of estranged sibling, and there’s a price to be paid in body control through very fast corners and over undulations, but it never feels nervous, as an F82 M4 sometimes can. We’d bet the smiles of its driver would be greater, too, even if it’s ultimately not as fast around a track.