We have witnessed several iterations of the M3 since the first 3 Series-based M3 rolled out of BMW factories in 1986, and the revered nameplate has remained one of the most iconic and popular performance-leaning production sedans. The legend that began in the demanding and unforgiving motorsport world lives on with the all-new Competition model that seeks to add an optional AWD drivetrain for the first time.
The M3 Competition is an awesome driver’s car with thrilling powertrains, everyday usability, and a rich history to back its sporting flex. Now put aside any reservation you have about the divisive front-end styling of the M3 and the new BMW cars in general, and you arguably get the best sports sedan money can buy. Here’s why.
9 Remarkable Chassis And Steering
The M3 Competition comes with a track-tuned chassis technology with advances in body rigidity and aerodynamic efficiency. The suspension is tougher than those of a regular 3 Series and has parts such as the control arms and wishbones bolted to the chassis with minimal rubber spacing. Consequently, the chassis delivers the trademark M precision with space for uniqueness.
Steering on the M3 Competition is impressively well-weighted and incredibly accurate, and it makes the car feel lively in that you can rotate it with a simple tap on the throttle.
8 Very Responsive Twin-Turbo Straight Six
The M3 was initially powered by a naturally aspirated inline-four before the immortal straight-six took over, at one point it even had a V8. Now in its sixth generation, the six-cylinder engine in the M3 Competition has undergone massive improvements with an M4 GT3 race car crank, new turbos with large mono-scroll blowers, and 3D printed cylinder heads. The result is 503hp and 479lb-ft of torque belting from the 3-liter inline-6.
This car prides a record size-to-power ratio among compact BMW cars, resulting in tenacious acceleration. It can launch to 60mph in just 3.4 seconds in the xDrive trim.
7 All-Round Usability
The M3 Competition might be made for the race track, but the car’s smooth and tractable power delivery makes everyday drivability a breeze when you are not flooring the throttle to wake up the powertrain. It also balances track-able performance with comfort and practicality you can only find in a few luxury cars.
Comfort and space are excellent in the M3 Competition. At the back, you will find adult-sized seats. Also, the 13,0 cubic-foot trunk space is enough to carry sufficient luggage for a summer vacation.
6 Drift Analyzer And Plenty Of Driving Modes
Like all BMW cars, you can expect plenty of electronic driver assistant offerings. The optional Drift Analyzer that rates your drifting maneuvers’ slip angle, duration, and speed is perhaps the most exciting feature for anyone seeking to take their M3 Competition to the track. This video game feature in real life is a seemingly useless tool that will be popular with gearheads trying hard to earn their five-star drift ratings.
With the iDrive 7 infotainment system and the M Mode button on the center console, one can rifle through a few preset driving modes, and drivers will have plenty of settings to tinker with. Also, BMW’s Active Driving Assistant comes standard.
5 Impressive Traction And Precision
Thanks to the M xDrive, the M3 Competition will feature excellent directional stability and supreme traction without compromising the car’s agility. In the default 4WD setting, the rear-biased power delivery results in unshakable traction and precisely tamable handling. Add the extensively tuned Adaptive M suspension with electronically controlled shock absorbers, and you have optimized road contact and traction regardless of the driving situation.
Extra features like the standard Active M Differential on the rear axle and Dynamic Stability Control have been tuned to match the upgraded M3 Competition dynamics and enable top-of-the-class handling precision.
4 xDrive Four-Wheel-Drive
For the first time in the M3 history, fans will enjoy the grip provided by the optional xDrive all-wheel-drive system available on this Competition trim, which adds more capabilities to the M range. The system has a 4WD mode, a 4WD Sport mode with rear-biased handling balance, and a rear-only 2WD.
When MotorTrend tested the M3 Competition in its all-wheel-drive guise, they claimed it was one of the fastest cars they had tested all year long. The only downside is that the AWD is only available with an automatic transmission.
3 An Impressively Lightweight Package
On paper, the M3 Competition is slightly larger than the previous generation M3 and even with a slight weight gain thanks to the higher specs, like-for-like weight only increases by just 132lbs. But it doesn’t make a difference on the track since it has a power-to-weight ratio advantage, and you don’t feel the weight. Around corners, the car holds so much grip that the car feels as agile as the lighter old models.
The M Pro Package offers reduced weight and increased performance and features lighter-weight wheels, and it shaves off more weight with the carbon-fiber roof, aluminum doors and hood, and a lightened crankshaft. Also, the standard special lightweight carbon M sports seats feature perfect support under extremely hard driving and surprisingly excellent comfort on long trips.
Every time BMW releases an M3, it is received with much enthusiasm from the car community. The M3 represents the souped-up hot-rodded and a more driver’s car version of the BMW 3 Series. This new M3 Competition has everything fans expect in an M3; handsome looks, snappy acceleration, expensive yet accessible, and a fun car to drive.
The M3 Competition is brutal, relentless, and indomitable on the road. It feels planted and has incredibly direct steering, with barely any oversteer or understeer. It also delivers a luxury experience with better-than-expected comfort. Besides a lack of manual transmission, enthusiasts will struggle to find faults with the car.
1 M3 Competition Vs The Competition
The new M3 Competition is arguable one of the most attractive cars to leave the BMW production lines in a while. However, the competitors are also better than ever, with key rivals reinventing themselves. However, when pitted against Alfa Romeo Guilia, Mercedes-AMG E63S, Porsche 911, and Audi RS 5, the M3 Competition shows why it could be the best M3 produced in the last two decades.
Recently, we saw the M3 Competition take on the 911 Carrera in a recent drag race test by Carwow. It was only 0.1 of a second slower than the sportier and lighter Porsche in a standing quarter-mile sprint but was the clear winner with a rolling start.
sources: motortrend.com, carwow.com, topgear.com, hotcars.com
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