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BMW 1-series M Coupe v Porsche Cayman R, Audi TT RS, Nissan 370Z

BMW's baby M car, the new 1-series M Coupe, battles tough rivals fron Porsche, Nissan and Audi. Richard Meaden referees on road and track

So this is it, the time we find out whether BMW really has rekindled the old E30 M3 magic with the hotly anticipated 1-series M Coupe.

Waiting to put it through the wringer are three very different yet extremely capable adversaries: the lightweight, ultra-focused mid-engined Porsche Cayman R, the slick and potent all-wheel-drive Audi TT RS, and the honest-to-goodness Nissan 370Z, here being tested in box-fresh GT Edition specification for the very first time.

It’s a compelling, disparate bunch: a quartet of coupes that encompasses normal aspiration and forced induction, front- and mid-engined layouts, rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive. Amazingly, there’s also a £26,000 difference between the cheapest and most expensive cars in the test: £35,000 as tested for the Nissan versus £61,000 for the Porsche.

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