The BMW M3 is a high-performance version of the regular 3 Series developed by BMW’s in-house motorsport division, BMW M GmbH. It’s been offered for every generation of the model since the E30 iteration debuted in 1986, with the current F80 M3 a rear-wheel-drive sedan offering 473 horsepower and a choice of six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmissions. The 503-hp M3 Competition and the all-wheel-drive M3 Competition xDrive offer extra performance for those seeking even more speed.
Like many modern M cars, the standard M3 is a true driver’s car, with stiff-riding handling and plenty of grip that allows it to accelerate and brake with very little body movement. The new Competition models take this to the next level, with a track-tuned suspension and optional carbon fiber roof that make it a legitimate racecar contender.
The bmw m3 specs powertrain is a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six-cylinder engine that puts out either 473 horses in the base model with a six-speed manual or 503 horsepower in the Competition trim with an eight-speed automatic. It’s a growling powerhouse that delivers lots of torque through the rev range for impressive acceleration times, with zero-to-60 times of about four seconds for both the manual and dual-clutch automatic versions.
All M3s have a standard electronic stability control system with rollover mitigation and a brake-based antilock braking system to help drivers stay in control during panic situations. A full suite of airbags is also included, as well as a rearview camera for easy parking. If you want to add a little luxury, the M3 is available in some versions with leather upholstery and heated seats.
If you’re a tech nerd, the M3 is loaded with the latest infotainment and connectivity options, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, as well as an excellent Harman Kardon audio system. It’s worth noting that the center stack and touchscreen are canted toward the driver, which is a nice touch that further emphasizes that this is a car meant for driving.
The M3 is covered by a four-year/50,000-mile bumper-to-bumper and powertrain warranty, as well as three years of complimentary maintenance. The M3 and its competitors are also backed by the Roadside Assistance program, which provides jump starts, flat tires, towing, and more if you’re ever stranded.
One of the biggest complaints about the latest M3 was that it omitted a dual-clutch automatic gearbox for a manual-only model, which essentially makes the M3 and its competition cousins less engaging to drive than their predecessors were. While many drivers may agree that a dual-clutch automatic is a better way to go for daily commuters, others will prefer the instantaneous and smooth shifting of a manual. Luckily, the 2021 M3 will be available with both types of transmissions to satisfy all types of drivers.