BMW GB has already sold this year's allocation of the all-new M3, on sale from this month.
Jim O'Donnell, BMW GB managing director, said: “We face the prospect of being embarrassed by demand this year. There is nothing like it for the price. However, we are working hard to secure more production for 2002.”
The UK has been allocated 1,300 M3s, including 400 convertibles due to arrive mid-summer. The car comes with an all-new 3.2-litre six cylinder engine.
Mark Baxter, BMW GB 3 Series product manager, said: “We expect next year to be our best M3 year ever with 1,800 sales.”
The UK is the third largest market for M3 after the US and Germany. More than 8,000 models have been sold here since the original M3 (left-hand drive only) was launched in 1986. Worldwide sales top 90,000.
M3 prices start at £38,500, less than performance rivals Mercedes-Benz 55AMG or Porsche 911 Carrera, said Mr Baxter.