Australia-only special here in second quarter

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The ultra-exclusive BMW M140i Performance Edition hot hatch will be offered here in the second-quarter of the year.

Only 60 units — 45 with an eight-speed automatic gearbox, and 15 with a purist-friendly six-speed manual — will come, priced at $71,900 plus on-road costs, or $7000 more than the regular M140i.

The locally-developed Performance Edition adds BMW Performance grey 19-inch alloy wheels, a BMW M Performance exhaust, LED door trims, extensive use of carbon-fibre in the cabin (like the M4 GTS), and a M Performance Alcantara steering wheel.

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Manual versions also get the usually optional rear axle limited-slip differential as standard, sending torque from side-to-side as required. All versions also get numbered 1 to 60 build plates and full BMW warranty coverage.

The additions add to the existing M140i’s specs, headlined by the 3.0-litre TwinPower turbo inline-six with 250kW/500Nm, rear-wheel drive layout and 0-100km/h time of 4.6sec (for the auto, or 4.8sec for the manual).

Carry-over standard features include adaptive M suspension, variable-ratio steering, bigger M Sport brakes, adaptive LED headlights, keyless access, iDrive 5 with sat-nav and a 12-speaker sound system by harmon/kardon.

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The existence of the Australian-market BMW M140i Performance Edition is testament to BMW M’s success here. The market penetration — that is, the proportion of total BMW sales here that are M cars — is the world’s highest.