2011-Today: 1 Series M Coupe
The new M2 garners its share of attention as BMW's preeminent enthusiast-mobile, while the i8 represents the brand's first foray into the electrified future of high performance. They both lose out here, because the 1 Series M Coupe (BMW wouldn't dare touch the M1 moniker; just call it a 1M and we'll be good) is more like the driveway project every enthusiast would build, given infinite funds, time, and skill. Essentially it was a side project, put together in a timeframe that would cause most engineers to take a seat on a therapist's couch. BMW's M division reached deep into the parts bin, and came out with something much more than a souped-up 135i: it's already a modern classic.
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Aaron Miller is the Cars editor for Thrillist, and can be found on Twitter. He's confident that the insulation he's wearing will hold up to the firestorm. Hopefully.