Blip, downshift; I love that BMW M2

The coupe is the smallest of BMW’s M offerings. (Bud Wells photo)

The coupe is the smallest of BMW’s M offerings. (Bud Wells photo)

“Thanks, pal,” I say to myself and to the driver ahead who crowded into my lane, for it gave me the opportunity to once again downshift my M2 and enjoy the feel and sound of blipping the throttle as it neatly slips into the lower gear.

Performing the short throws with the 6-speed manual is so much fun in the little M2; optional is a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic (it’s a blast, too).

Putting the pizzaz into the 2016 BMW M2 Coupe, on a short 106-inch wheelbase with relatively wide 62.2-inch track, is a twinscroll turbocharged 3.0-liter, inline-6-cylinder engine developing 365 horsepower and 369 lb.-ft. of torque.

With the manual tranny, the M2’s 0 to 60 sprint time is 4.4 seconds, and it is even quicker with the optional DCT. Its top speed is limited to 155 miles per hour. The review model offered driver choice of comfort, sport or sport-plus settings for throttle, steering and shift performances.

BMW’s M-badged cars include empowered engines and transmissions and modified suspensions, interior trims, aerodynamics and exterior upgrades to set them apart from their counterparts. All M models are tested and tuned at Nurburgring racing circuit in Germany.

The M venture was begun 50 years ago by BMW Motorsport GmbH to facilitate BMW’s racing program. BMW M later began to supplement Bimmer vehicles with specially modified higher trim focus, for which they are now most known by the public.

The current list of M models for BMW are, in addition to the M2 Coupe, the M3 Sedan, M4 Coupe, M4 Convertible, M5 Sedan, M6 Coupe/Gran Coupe/Convertible, X5 M and X6 M.

The M2 is a beautifully structured coupe from its low-riding front end to the rear quad-exhaust outlets which deliver the throaty rumble of the famed straight-6 engine. Its special wide-spoked wheels permit an almost open view of its huge discs providing safety on braking. The exterior finish is in Long Beach blue metallic. It rides on Michelin 245/35ZR19 tires.

Inside are bolstered, leather, blue-stitched front seats. It is primarily a two-person ride; the rear seats have very little legroom.

The M2 delivered impressive fuel mileage of 25.6 miles per gallon; its EPA rating is 18/26.

The small coupe is the most affordable of the M products, coming in with a sticker price of $54,495, including an optional executive package of heated steering wheel, backup camera, park-distance control and automatic high beams.