BMW M3 Competition 2021 is the fastest M3

BMW M3 Competition 2021 is the fastest M3

We love that in today’s world of automation, and everything at your fingertips, 2021 BMW M3 (and mechanically identical M4 Coupe) is still available with a good six-speed manual transmission. For the driver, few things increase the connection to the car as effectively as working the clutch pedal and paddle your gears. But the truth is that even BMWThe most famous driver’s car is not immune to the requirements of the modern age. If you want the ultimate version of the latest M3 – the improved competition model with 503 horsepower – you will have to choose the automatic. The reason for this split is simple: more speed.

As an update, the standard $70,895 M3 only comes with a stick six and produces 473 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque from an impressive twin-turbo 3.0-liter engine. However, choosing the $2,900 Competition upgrade entails equipping an eight-speed automatic, but brings more turbo boost (24.7 psi versus 18.9) and an additional 30 horsepower and 73 pound-feet. According to BMW, the automatic also plays better with the all-wheel drive system that the Competition Edition will acquire as an option for 2022.

HIGHS: faster acceleration than the base car, amazing fuel economy, and a surprisingly comfortable ride.

We have already launched the new M3 About the BMW Performance Center In South Carolina the competition model lined up against the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio In the comparison test. And while we haven’t tested a manual version yet, we have Put the M4 gearshift through its paces in California. While the contest Eight speeds sourced from ZF It will never be included to act as a manual nor will it be quite as sharp as the optional seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox from the previous generation M3, this is one of the best torque-shifting mechanisms on the market, and BMW’s tuning is excellent. Depending on which of its six settings (three for both automatic and manual modes) you’ve selected, upshifts range from supercars to quick shotgun bolts with virtually no interruption in torque. The downshifts coordinate so well when the car is being pushed hard, and despite the small amount of turbo lag from the engine, the transmission’s computer brain is so adept at picking ratios that we rarely feel the need to paddle shifters on the back of the steering wheel.

With its added power and backed by automatic launch control programming, our 3,820-pound test car fired 60 mph in 3.5 seconds, outperforming the manual M4 by 0.3 seconds, even though the latter weighed 111 pounds less. This effort makes it the fastest M3 we have ever tested. At the quarter mile, the competition extends the gap by a tenth of a second and travels at 3 mph when it cuts the lights in 11.6 seconds at 124 mph. At 160 mph, the competition advanced by 2.5 seconds. (For reference, the Previous, 444 hp M3 competition with dual clutch It was about half a second slower to 60 mph and within the quarter mile.) Almost as impressive, our 2021 example improved the EPA’s estimate by 9 mpg in the 75 mph highway test, returning 32 mpg. in the gallon. Driven more aggressively, the 22-mpg average is still 3 mpg more than the vehicle’s combined federal rating.

Low: Not fun without a manual transmission, a lot of the drive mode settings can top six digits with options.

Being a modern BMW, the M3 Competition’s quick test results – which also include 1.03 grams of grip on a skateboard and 150 feet from 70 mph – are complicated by a byzantine number of driving mode adjustments. Some, like the two brake pedal feel settings, have little effect on the driving experience. Others proved welcome during our mostly rainy drives, like the new 10-stage traction control system that comes with the $900 million package for the Pro drive. Do your best to find your favorite performance recipe (or two) and program it into one of the pre-set buttons in the M drive mode on the steering wheel, and this BMW will shine with precision. Although the rich feel of cornering loads and pavement imperfections continues to escape the struts of most new BMWs, the latest M3 conveys a much better road connection than the third-generation 3 Series as a whole. Its chassis is reassuringly designed but easy to control with its six turbo jets, best for seamlessly threading the heads together – or winning the bet on the back of a coach M Drift Analyzer, if that’s your thing.

Thanks to the bandwidth of the M3 Competition’s adaptive dampers, its ability to take off doesn’t come at the expense of reasonable everyday livability. Helped by that, our test car featured standard, highly-supportive M3 front seats instead of carbon-fiber-wrapped thrones which cost an extra $3,800, but this is still the most refined and comfortable M3-ride we can remember. Trips to your favorite racetrack or driving routes are less fun if you’re already tired of commuting. Now that the Series 3 is today as big as the larger 5 Series, back seat passengers won’t spend their entire time complaining about the lack of legroom. We recorded a good civic noise of 72 decibels indoors at a steady 70 mph, which is four decibels quieter than in the previous Competition model. Maximum thrust produces 84dB from the silky hexagonal roar, but we still wish BMW would let more of the engine’s natural song into the cabin rather than boost it through the audio system. You can at least turn off the auto-adjust effect through a menu on the touch screen.

Of the many options for our $93,495 test vehicle—the largest being the $8,150 carbon ceramic brake kit—probably our favorite was the $1,950 Tanzanite Blue Metallic II, which reduces visual fallout for the new M3’s front end. Better than some available brightness hues. Rationalists will point out that a few Ben Franklin will buy you $105,495 BMW M5 600 horsepower. But go easy on the competition model additions and you’ll still have a great-performing M3, one with better human-machine communication than we’ve seen in years. It’s just that a regular stick car will form a stronger bond with its pilot. For us, that equals a few tenths of a second.


BMW M3 Competition 2021
Vehicle type: front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan

Basic / As tested: $73,795 / $93,495
Options: Carbon-ceramic M brakes, $8,150; Executive package, $3,000; Stone Silver/All Black Merino Leather, $2550; M Driver’s Pack, $2,500, Tanzanite Blue II Metallic Paint, $1,950; M Drive Professional, $900, ventilated front seats, $350; Single shade lights, $300

Dual turbocharger and intercooler DOHC 24 valves inline 6, aluminum block and head, direct fuel injection
Displacement: 183 inches32993 cm3
Power: 503 @ 6250 rpm
Torque: 479 @ 2750 rpm

8 speed automatic

Suspension, F / R: multi-link / multi-link
Brakes, F/R: 15.7-inch cross-drilled carbon-ceramic disc, 15.0-inch cross-drilled carbon-ceramic disc
Tyres: Michelin Pilot Sport 4S
F: 275/35R-19 (100Y) ★
R: 285/30R-20 (99Y) ★

Wheelbase: 112.5 inches
Length: 189.1 inches
Width: 74.3 inches
Height: 56.4 inches
Passenger size: 96 feet3
Trunk size: 13 feet3
Empty Weight: 3,820 lbs

grandfather Test results
60 mph: 3.5 seconds
100 mph: 7.6 seconds
1/4 mile: 11.6 seconds @ 124 mph
130 mph: 12.8 seconds
150 mph: 18.3 seconds
The results above are deleted 1 foot subtraction of 0.2 sec.
Rolling start, 5 to 60 mph: 4.5 seconds
Top gear, 30-50 mph: 2.4 seconds
Top Gear, 50-70 mph: 2.7 seconds
Top speed (mfr claim): 180 mph
Braking, 0-70 mph: 150 feet
Braking, 100 to 0 mph: 297 ft
Road, 300 feet Skidpad: 1.03g

grandfather fuel economy
Observed: 22 mpg
75 mpg highway driving: 32 mpg
Highway range: 490 miles

EPA fuel economy
Pool/city/highway: 19/16/23 mpg

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