Yvan Muller continued his superlative Argentina form by taking his fifth pole of the World Touring Car Championship season in commanding style.
The Frenchman topped the timesheets for the duration of Q1, and resumed the trend from the outset in Q2.
En masse slipstreaming, which carried shades of this year's Salzburgring farce, meant there was a chance Muller could be beaten even as the chequered flag flew.
Tom Chilton fuelled that faint hope when he went quickest of all in the first sector, but Muller's response was typically emphatic: new overall bests in the second and third splits carried him to a 1m47.920s, comfortably the fastest lap all weekend.
Chilton's improvements did lift him to second, but his gap of 0.503 seconds to Muller served only to underline the latter's dominance.
Norbert Michelisz and Gabriele Tarquini also found speed late on, securing a share of the second row in the process.
Tiago Monteiro in the second works Honda was three spots further back in seventh, but will start from the back of the field after being forced to change engines earlier in the day.
Pepe Oriola, Alex MacDowall, James Nash and Michel Nykjaer - currently Muller's closest points rival - will therefore lock out the top eight starting spots for tomorrow's opener.
Home favourite Jose Maria Lopez was the only BMW driver to progress into Q2, and ended up grabbing 10th - meaning he will start from reverse-grid pole for only his second WTCC race.
Hugo Valente and James Thompson rounded out the top 12 in Q1, although the former takes a 10-place grid penalty in race one.
Rob Huff, Marc Basseng and Tom Coronel were among the high-profile casualties of Q1.
Huff had also been forced to take an engine change and, with the Munnich team frantically working on his car, was only able to get out for one lap in Q1. He ended 14th, but like Monteiro will have to start from the back.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap 1. Yvan Muller RML Chevrolet 1m47.920s 2. Tom Chilton RML Chevrolet 1m48.423s +0.503s 3. Norbert Michelisz Zengo Honda 1m48.855s +0.935s 4. Gabriele Tarquini Honda 1m48.919s +0.999s 5. Pepe Oriola Tuenti Chevrolet 1m48.979s +1.059s 6. Alex MacDowall Bamboo Chevrolet 1m49.039s +1.119s 7. Tiago Monteiro Honda 1m49.177s +1.257s 8. James Nash Bamboo Chevrolet 1m49.236s +1.316s 9. Michel Nykjaer Nika Chevrolet 1m49.406s +1.486s 10. Jose Maria Lopez Wiechers BMW 1m49.674s +1.754s 11. Hugo Valente Campos SEAT 1m50.130s +2.210s 12. James Thompson Lada 1m50.353s +2.433s 13. Marc Basseng Munnich SEAT 1m50.272s Q1 14. Rob Huff Munnich SEAT 1m50.314s Q1 15. Fernando Monje Campos SEAT 1m50.583s Q1 16. Tom Coronel ROAL BMW 1m50.744s Q1 17. Stefano D'Aste PB BMW 1m50.788s Q1 18. Mikhail Kozlovskiy Lada 1m50.832s Q1 19. Charles Ng Engstler BMW 1m51.328s Q1 20. Darryl O'Young ROAL BMW 1m51.345s Q1 21. Rene Munnich Munnich SEAT 1m51.368s Q1 22. Mehdi Bennani Proteam BMW 1m51.862s Q1 23. Franz Engstler Engstler BMW 1m51.866s Q1