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BMW Australia’s hardcore M and warmed-up M Performance divisions are both showing strong growth in 2016, as local buyers continue to flock to hotted-up cars despite our low speed limits.

The Munich marque’s success at this end of the market partially mirrors even stronger performances from rivals Audi and Mercedes-AMG.

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Speaking at the launch of the revised 1 Series and 2 Series this week, BMW Australia head of product and market planning Shawn Ticehurst said our market retained one of the highest penetrations of M cars in the world.

Of the 22,547 vehicles BMW has sold so far this year (to the end of September), combined M and M Performance volume was 1786 units, or 7.9 per cent of its total, with the M3 at the top of the pile, followed closely by the new M2.

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The M Division has specifically sold 1113 units, or 4.9 per cent of total sales, which is a 47 per cent growth rate over same period in 2015. These vehicles include the M2, M3, M4, M5M6X5 M and X6 M.

M Performance’s 673 sales YTD is a much more modest 7 per cent up on the same period last year (629). M Performance cars include the M140i and M240i, plus the X5 M50d and X6 M50d.

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But this level of market penetration for BMW is nothing unusual in Australia, with the Bavarian brand’s arch nemesis, Mercedes-Benz, performing at an even higher level.

Of Mercedes’ 30,721 sales in Australia this year — the Stuttgart marque is easily Australia’s most-purchased luxury vehicle brand —about 13 per cent of this volume has a Mercedes-AMG badge.

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The Mercedes-AMG range comprises the A45, GLA45, CLA45, C43, C63 S, CLS63 S, S63, S65, SLC43, SL63, GLE63 S, GLS63 and AMG GT. By year’s end, the company expects about 5000 AMG sales, led by the C63 S range.

This makes Mercedes-AMG Australia the clear world number one in terms of market penetration — that is to say, it’s not a volume leader, but it’s the proportional leader.

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Audi Australia, meanwhile, has sold 18,175 units total, about 3000 of which have been S/RS/R8 models, representing a massive 17 per cent of its range.

This is being driven by the new RS3, as well as the continued strong sales of the S3 and SQ5, though models such as the S1, S5, S6, S7, S8 and TT S, plus the RS6, RS7, RS Q3 and R8 supercar are all chipping in.

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