The fat-fendered, turbocharged six-cylinder rocket sled that is the BMW M2 won't officially launch in Australia until April, but the order book is already filling up at a rate that may see the first year's allocation totally sold out before the car even enters showrooms.
Speaking to TMR at a 2016 BMW brand event, BMW Australia Managing Director Marc Werner said customer inquiries have been flowing in since the M2 was first revealed, and that while Australia's allocation of M2s for 2016 will be "sufficient", demand is close to outstripping supply.
Part of the reason is the strong value equation: at $89,900 for the manual-equipped M2 Pure and $98,900 for the automatic M2, both cars will enter the market as the most affordable full-fledged M cars ever offered in Australia and the most powerful RWD vehicle from a luxury carmaker below the $100k mark
Both the M2 and M2 Pure will produce 272kW of power and 465Nm of torque from a 3.0 litre turbocharged inline six, with the automatic hitting 100km/h in 4.3 seconds and the manual taking 4.5 seconds. All drive gets sent to the rear wheels
"We’re very excited to be able to offer this kind of performance car at such a sharp price point, which is a really compelling offer," Werner said to TMR.
"We have significant pre-orders. We can’t talk absolute numbers here, but for the first year we will be almost completely sold out.
"The moment when we published the initial artwork of the M2, the response from potential customers was overwhelming. Luckily we were able to secure some substantial volume for this year and also for the coming years.
"We’re very confident that this particular car at the below-$100,000 price point will boost the BMW M brand in australia."
BMW won't discuss precisely how many orders have been placed, but company spokesperson Lenore Fletcher said they numbered "in the hundreds".
With BMW's M car sales numbering over 1000 last year the addition of even 200 more cars will give the performance sub-brand a significantly bigger presence in Australia, but the actual number for the initial allocation could be substantially higher.
Beyond boosting the M brand in this country, Werner says the arrival of the M2 will also provide BMW with a golden opportunity for conquest sales.
While the Mercedes-AMG A45 and Audi RS3 are cheaper (and in the case of the A45, slightly faster), the BMW's two-door coupe bodystyle and sportier rear-drive configuration should see it win plenty of favour among enthusiasts.
"There’s a niche that is untapped with this type of car. We will likely see new customers, some of them from different brands and potentially have been driving those kinds of hot hatches before - and customers that have not necessarily have been in a BMW before.
But if you're planning on being one of those customers and you haven't yet laid down a deposit, now's the time to visit a BMW dealer - all signs from the company indicates that this year's entire stock may be very, very close to selling out.
So we have a sufficient allocation as far as the M2 is concerned, however with this initial response
“If you look at the high performance cars segment and the volumes that you see in Australia, there’s certainly a lot of room for growth - and we want to get a substantial share of that.
We don’t know yet, it’s too early to say [whether it will outsell M4]
Last year we sold over 1000 M cars in Australia.