THE invigorating BMW M2 might look like a tempting proposition for people who pine for an M3 or M4 but can’t afford one.
But its $89,900 Pure-spec, manual-gearbox, entry point, and more realistic $98,900 paddle-shift price, do not stack up so well against its direct competitors.
The Mercedes-AMG A45 (pictured below) is another obvious rival, at an even cheaper $77,900, and pips both the Audi and the BMW by 0.1 second in the bragging-rights sprint. It also comes with four-door practicality and superior fuel economy to the M2 (6.9 litres per 100km vs 8.5 litres per 100km).
BMW spokeswoman Lenore Taylor argues that neither of these cars is a genuine competitor for the new M2 – because they are hatches, offer smaller and allegedly less exciting engines, and lack rear-wheel-drive purity.
The company would prefer you compare the new baby M car - the cheapest performance model BMW has ever offered - to the more visually similar CLA45, which starts at $88,400 with a seven-speed sequential gearbox.
“You have to remember that a coupe is always seen as more premium and that the M2 has a six-cylinder engine against the four-cylinder offerings in those cars,” Fletcher says.
“You’re also talking about a vehicle that features a lot of technology from the M3 and M4, which sit in a different category, so we think that the price is very reasonable.”
Fletcher added that BMW’s Australian dealer network has had so many pre-orders and so much interest in the M2 that the company will struggle to deal with demand. It had already asked its Munich masters for more cars.
“Our customers are telling us that we’ve got the spec level and the price right,” she said.
Whether the M2 can match its German rivals on the road is something Wheels will endeavour to find out as soon as possible. The M2 goes on sale locally in April.