Single letters seem to have been stuck to cars since the dawn of mass-produced motoring. Mr Ford started with the letter T, Mr Citroen has become infatuated with the letter C and Mr Honda stuck his hand in the scrabble bag and came out with an R. But to me there is one letter that screams speed, performance and fun, and that is the letter M - enter stage left our new BMW E92 M3.
Not just a 'regular' M3, of course because, in true PH fashion, we're over-indulging on a richer diet with a rather tasty special edition. Unfortunately it's not the full CSL-style upgrade we always hope BMW will provide, but the Monte Carlo edition parked outside PH HQ does have a few tweaks to make it that little bit special - a contrasting shadow-effect grille, door mirrors in black, chequered flag motif along the door sill to name a few.
These add-ons cost an extra £2500 on top of the standard M3 on their own, but the goodie-bag has been stuffed even fuller with EDC, Bluetooth, loudspeaker pack, folding mirrors, heated seats and the whopping £2535 seven-speed M-DCT double-clutch transmission with Drivelogic.
All this tips the price of our new M3 to a figure just shy of £60k, so it had better be good to justify money that approaches Porsche 911 territory, and is the same as the Nissan GT-R.
I'm not too fussed by the styling adjustments, but the real reason the edition appeals is that the suspension has been tweaked. The car sits 10mm lower on special edition light alloy wheels and, though a 10mm difference sounds like the equivalent of climbing a tree to get more warmth from the sun, I know from racing it can make a huge difference.
As I'm not a huge fan of computers doing jobs for me, I usually spend the first minute after getting into a performance car pressing - and in some case holding for eternity - all the traction, stability and other fun buttons I can find. BMW has made this process much easier for people like me by providing it all in one button on the steering wheel. So whether it's a trip down the shops or a full on B-road blast the 'M' button is always activated - and this isn't doing too many favours to my wallet.
Fuel stops seem to be a regular occurrence and, as the numbers twirl up to £70 on the petrol pump, I feel my bank getting ready to sign a few more staff bonuses. When you sit back in, start the car (press the magic button) and a fuel range of 250 miles stares back at you alongside a 14.5 mpg economy reading, it does make you wince a little.
But you don't buy an M3 to save money, and it is easy to fall in love with the car's many good points. Having a V8 block under the bonnet helps a lot, and with 420 horses powering you to the next corner - be it tail-happy or straight - it's definitely on the way to warming the cockles of your heart. The lower ride height suits the car a little better too, and this is certainly a surefooted weapon to take on a countryside blast, especially with the flappy-paddled, M-DCT dual-clutch transmission.
The traditionalist in me would say it isn't the same as a manual transmission but this 'box shaves 0.2 seconds off the blast to 62mph at 4.6 secs, and the dual clutch on full pelt works beautifully with 'slam you in the back' quick shifting.
It can feel a little slow if you are trundling around town, but this is all forgiven when you change down. You start to become addicted to the automated downshift blip and every tunnel, bridge or underpass requires a lower gear just for the aural pleasure. When I accidentally turned off the 'M' mode, the car didn't provide this blipping fun - another reason to keep it on.
Perhaps the magic of the letter M will fade as those fuel bills add up. But at the moment I am holding onto the keys with a tight grip and if anyone else wants a go I reply with my own new favourite two letters - NO! (Pete, are you sure that's an 'N'..? Ed.)