BMW Australia has revealed details of its updated 2016 M3 sedan and two-door M4 models this week, bringing new kit and, more importantly, significant price cuts.
Due in showrooms from the fourth quarter of 2015, the refreshed M heroes will square off against the all-new and markedly more powerful Mercedes-AMG C 63 S - although the Merc will do battle in sedan and Estate wagon form initially, with the coupe still to be revealed.
As with the recently updated 3 Series range, the M3 and M4 models have been given a significant value boost for the new model year. But, while pricing crept north on most of the regular models, BMW has slashed a huge $16,140 from the price of its mid-sized M cars.
For 2016, the 317kW/550Nm M3 sedan will be priced from $139,900 before on-road costs, while the identically-powered M4 Coupe and Convertible models will drop to $149,900 and $161,900 respectively (before on-road costs).
By comparison, the 375kW/700Nm AMG C 63 sedan and Estate wagon, due here in the coming weeks, will launch at $154,900 and $157,400 plus on-road costs.
In addition to cutting prices, BMW has also upgraded the list of standard features on the M3 and M4 models.
New gear includes full leather Merino trim, a head-up display, Lane Change Warning, Driving Assistant, Adaptive LED headlights, tyre pressure monitor, Internet connectivity and the ConnectedDrive Freedom package - normally a $1200 option that adds ConnectedDrive Services, Remote Services, Real Time Traffic Information, and Concierge Services.
It appears clear that while BMW has lost sales ground to the hugely popular C-Class (ground it intends to recover), it is not willing to concede even an inch to the coming AMG hero.
Of course, BMW Australia is far from unhappy with the performance of its mid-sized M cars so far.
Speaking with CarAdvice today, BMW Australia communications manager Lenore Fletcher described the feature and price changes as a range realignment.
“We have the 3 Series due in October, and you’ll see there that we’re realigning the range. [The M3 and M4] came out here last year, and they have been really successful for us,” Fletcher said.
“We’re about to outsell last year’s [M3 and M4] total, so we’re very much enjoying that sales impetus we have at the moment and we want to make sure we maintain that." (Exact sales figures were not available at time of publishing.)
“If you look at the releases we’ve had in the past year, you’ll see there’s been a strong move toward upgrading specifications and reducing prices wherever possible - or at least maintaining them, despite the enormous amount of extra specifications we’ve added”.
Fletcher conceded that market forces have also played a role in the change to the M models.
“You’re correct in saying that there is a price revision here with the M3 and M4, and that’s in response to the market as well.
“We really do want to make sure that the proposition for the customer remains more attractive than ever, but we also want to ensure that we maintain the sales impetus that we’ve seen with the M products to date.”
2016 BMW M3, M4 pricing (before on-road costs):
M3 Sedan - $139,900
M4 Coupe - $149,900
M4 Convertible - $161,900
For more on the M3, M4 and C 63, see our links below.