AUSTRALIAN performance BMW fans are in for a bumper 2016, with numerous high-powered models, special editions and a factory-backed motorsport team confirmed for Australia.
Speaking to media in Victoria this week, BMW Australia boss Marc Werner said Australians had proven their love for exciting cars, with the sportier and more performance-oriented vehicles proving the more popular choice down under.
With the recently released new 3 Series sedan range, range-toppers 330i and 340i had proved to be the best-sellers. The entry-level 1 Series range, meanwhile, had the 125i and M135i as the more popular choices, despite their far higher price points over less powerful models. "It's very pleasing to see," Mr Werner said.
For 2016, BMW Australia will welcome updates to the M3, M4 and M5 performance coupes and sedans, while improvements also come for the physics-defying uber-SUVs the X5 M and X6 M.
On a greener level, Mr Werner said incoming alternative fuel vehicles alongside the performance specials would help create "the ultimate vehicle collection" for BMW. A plug-in hybrid SUV - the xDrive 40e - arrives in the second quarter of this year, as does the plug-in hybrid 3 Series, the eDrive 330e. In addition, BMW Australia hopes to expand its "i" electric car dealerships from six to at least double that number by the second half of this year.
Returning to the performance products we so crave, however, the eagerly-anticipated BMW 1M Coupe replacement, the M2, is due to go on sale here in the first half of this year from $89,990.
Mr Werner confirmed two test examples had already landed down under after pictures appeared on social media, and claimed it was a "little rocket ship" after having enjoyed some wheel time himself.
It's been confirmed the halo M4 GTS is coming to Australia in very limited numbers (only 700 are available worldwide) in March, while we will also definitely be getting the hotter 331kW M3 and M4 Competition Package models we were teased with recently.
In motorsport news, BMW Australia also confirmed a factory-backed team called SRM Team BMW would compete in GT racing with the M6 GT3, including for the Bathurst 12-Hour. Four-time Bathurst 1000 champ Steven Richards will lead the GT assault, with the M6 GT3 cars arriving in the country in the second week of February.