Incoming pocket rocket BMW M2 priced from $89,990
MONEY can't buy happiness? Yeah right. News from BMW this week suggests $89,900 can buy a decent dose of glee if you worship at the Munich firm's House of M.
The recently confirmed M2 Coupe - complete with its 272kW/465Nm 3.0-litre six-cylinder turbo donk - has been given an Australian price tag of $89,990 for the manual-only M2 Pure version.
Or $98,900 for the 7-speed auto version simply known as M2 - or M2 Less Pure if I were in charge of BMW nomenclature.
The price is higher than a few obvious rivals - Audi's RS3 is $78,900 and the Mercedes CLA45 AMG $88,400 - but park the M2 beside the brand's M4 big brother and the latter looks an expensive brute at $161,900.
And as brilliant as BMW's M235i is, its $77,500 tag could well have shoppers digging a bit deeper for the M2 at just $12k more.
For me, the new M2 will be the most compelling M car in BMW's line-up when it arrives in the first half of next year. A genuine successor to BMW's hero rear-drive small coupes of old: the 1973 2002 Turbo, 1985 E30 M3 and 1M Coupe which left us in 2012 (and cost $99,900 incidentally).
Kit looks pretty generous too, meaning you could drive the M2 Pure away for under $100k if you leave the options box ticks to a minimum.
As standard you get an Active M differential, M compound brakes, Driving Assistance, rear view camera, Dakota leather and carbon fibre interior trim. Track and daily duties ready, I'd say.
Move out of the Pure and the double-clutch auto M2 scores goodies like electric and heated seats, harman/kardon surround sound system and Comfort Access System.
And if you want to Pure up your Less Pure M2, you can option the manual gearbox here for no extra charge.
The three-pedal cars hit 100kmh in 4.5-seconds, but the computers will help the autos crack that in 4.3-seconds. Either way, it's almost M4 performance in a smaller and, no doubt, more fun package.
Flared wheel arches, 19-inch rims, low front bumper with gaping air intakes and subtle boot lid spoiler means it looks the part too, and a worthy M badge carrier.
Let's just hope Australia gets its fair allocation come next year.