Thirty five years after the debut of the first BMW M3, BMW is presenting the latest generation of its high-performance models that fuse track-focused performance with everyday usability.
The new BMW M3 Competition Saloon and new BMW M4 Competition Coupé occupy very different territory - one a saloon with space for five occupants, the other a four-seater coupé - but they both achieve their common goal of delivering pure driving pleasure.
Class-leading levels of standard equipment plus options that take individualisation to new heights, especially for racetrack outings, ensure both models will continue the success of their formidable predecessors.
Optional equipment is offered in six main packages – Comfort, Technology Plus, Visibility, M Carbon, M Pro and Ultimate. Beyond these packages, there will be a select number of optional items including M Brakes in red, blue or black, M Carbon exterior, M Carbon seats and Park Assistant Plus with Drive Recorder.
Under the bonnet of the new BMW M3 Competition Saloon and new BMW M4 Competition Coupé lies a 510hp high-revving straight-six engine with M TwinPower Turbo technology, which teams up with an eight-speed M Steptronic transmission as it sends its power to the rear wheels.
Both models will also be available (from summer 2021) with M xDrive, which offers even greater directional stability and supreme traction without compromising on agility.
The new BMW M3 Competition Saloon is built at BMW Plant Munich, while the new BMW M4 Competition Coupé is produced at BMW Plant Dingolfing. The market launch for both models is Saturday 13 March, 2021.
Straight-six engine delivers high performance in signature M high-revving style
The engine powering the new high-performance models sets a new high point in terms of output and torque for six-cylinder in-line petrol units from BMW. The power unit offers 60hp more than the maximum output of its predecessor models and increases its peak torque by 100Nm.
The new 3.0-litre straight-six engine combines the hallmark high-revving character of BMW M engines with the latest version of M TwinPower Turbo technology. The engine maintains peak torque up to the moment where maximum output is reached: 650Nm is on tap between 2,700 and 5,500rpm, from when maximum output of 510hp is sustained up to the 7,200rpm red line.
The M3 Competition Saloon and M4 Competition Coupé accelerate from 0 to 62mph in 3.9 seconds. Top speed is electronically limited to 155mph, rising to 180mph if the optional M Pro Package is specified.
Bespoke M TwinPower Turbo technology
A bespoke version of M TwinPower Turbo technology includes two mono-scroll turbochargers that supply compressed air to cylinders 1–3 and 4–6 respectively. An indirect intercooler optimises the power output of the charger and its electronically controlled wastegate supports the turbochargers’ instantaneous responsiveness and heightens the effectiveness of the catalytic converters.
Other elements of M TwinPower Turbo technology include VALVETRONIC variable valve timing and Double-VANOS variable camshaft timing. Both models meet the Euro 6d exhaust emissions standard.
Cooling system and oil supply designed for track use
The new BMW M3 Competition Saloon and new BMW M4 Competition Coupé use a bespoke cooling system to ensure an optimal operating temperature in all conditions. It includes a low-temperature system that contributes to cooling the intercooler and a high-temperature system that cools the engine block and the two turbochargers.
Meanwhile, the oil supply system has also been designed to meet the challenges of dynamic track driving. The engine’s weight-minimised oil sump has two separate chambers and an integrated suction channel, while the additional suction stage allows the map-controlled oil pump to draw lubricant from the smaller chamber when extra capacity is needed.
Exhaust system with electrically controlled flaps delivers a distinctive soundtrack
A dual-branch exhaust system reduces back pressure, but also produces a fantastic soundtrack. It leads into a high-capacity rear silencer with a quartet of tailpipes finished in Black Chrome.
Electrically controlled, fully adjustable flaps suppress intrusive frequency ranges, increasing comfort levels while the sound is also influenced by the engine mode selected - the driver can choose either SPORT or SPORT+ mode using the relevant button on the centre console. It is also possible to alter the engine’s aural impact using the M Sound Control button on the centre console.
Eight-speed M Steptronic transmission with Drivelogic as standard
Both models use a specially tuned eight-speed M Steptronic transmission with Drivelogic. The M Steptronic transmission enables both fully automatic gear changes and manual shifts with sequential gear selection. Fitted as standard along with the newly designed selector lever are carbon gearshift paddles on the steering wheel. With a simple tap of a paddle the driver can switch from automatic to manual mode.
The transmission’s shift characteristics are adjusted using the Drivelogic button integrated into the selector lever. The driver can access three clearly distinct setups – comfort oriented, sports focused or track optimised.
M xDrive all-wheel-drive system optimises traction and performance
For the first time in the history of the BMW M3 and BMW M4, customers will be able to specify an all-wheel-drive system – expected from summer 2021 – as an alternative to traditional rear-wheel drive.
The engine’s power is distributed between the front and rear wheels via the transfer case’s electronically controlled multi-plate clutch, before the Active M Differential splits it again between the two rear wheels.
The specially developed system significantly enhances acceleration from standstill and the driver can configure the distribution of power as required via the Setup menu. In the default 4WD setting, signature M rear-biased power transmission goes hand-in-hand with unshakable traction and precisely controllable handling. 4WD Sport mode directs a greater proportion of the engine’s torque to the rear wheels to optimise track performance. Switching off DSC brings 2WD mode into the equation, with no intervention from the control systems.
Chassis delivers hallmark M precision and scope for individualisation
Both new models also include advances in body rigidity and aerodynamic efficiency, plus optimised, tuned chassis technology. A long wheelbase and wide tracks, a low centre of gravity and virtually 50:50 weight distribution, plus stiffer, stronger and M-specific body and chassis mountings contribute to excellent driving dynamics.
Adaptive M suspension with electronically controlled dampers
The electronically controlled shock absorbers in the standard adaptive M suspension optimise road contact and traction in every situation with the use of electromagnetically controlled valves that act in just a few milliseconds to generate the required damping force. It is infinitely variable, and for each individual wheel.
Basic damper characteristics can be adjusted via the M Setup menu. The driver can select from three modes – COMFORT, SPORT and the track-focused SPORT PLUS.
Integrated braking system with two pedal feel settings
In standard form, the newly developed M Compound brakes comprise six-piston fixed-calliper brakes with 380mm discs at the front and single-piston floating-calliper brakes (including parking brake) with 370mm discs at the rear. The callipers are available for the first time in either black or red in addition to the blue callipers known from the predecessor models; all bear the M logo.
The optional M Carbon ceramic brakes, available as part of the M Pro Package, offer even stronger braking power and durability. Their callipers – painted in Gold metallic – engage with 400mm discs at the front and 380mm items at the rear.
A shared feature of both brake variants is the integrated braking system, where the brake actuation, braking force assistance and braking control functions are brought together within a compact module. The integrated braking system allows vehicle deceleration to be geared precisely to the driver’s requirements.
The M-specific version of the integrated braking system additionally presents the driver with two pedal feel settings – COMFORT and SPORT, which can be selected via the M Setup menu.
DSC with M Dynamic Mode and ten-stage traction control
The DSC functions in the new BMW M3 Competition Saloon and new BMW M4 Competition Coupé work even more effectively with the integrated braking system.
Along with the M-specific Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and Cornering Brake Control (CBC), the integrated braking system also benefits the stability control function, as well as the Automatic Differential Brake (ADB-X), Brake Assist, Dry Braking and Start-Off Assistant functions. Competition models add the Automatic Hold function.
The new integrated wheel-slip limitation function provides more sensitive acceleration control on wet, snow-covered or icy surfaces or on uneven roads.
The driver can also activate M Dynamic Mode using a button on the centre console. This mode allows a greater degree of wheel slip, enabling controlled drifts to be achieved. Also selectable at the push of a button is DSC Off mode.
With M Drive Professional, drivers also benefit from the new M Traction Control function. Making its debut in the new BMW M3 Competition Saloon and new BMW M4 Competition Coupé, this new form of traction control allows the driver to set the intervention thresholds for wheel-slip limitation.
With different stages of precisely defined slip at the driven wheels, the driver can find the perfect balance of racing-car performance and directional stability.
M Drive Professional: unbeatable performance on the race track
The latest generation of the M-specific control/operation system contains a host of new features. Making its debut is M Drive Professional, which has been developed specifically for track driving. Included as standard, this allows the driver to make consistent progress in their pursuit of the ideal line and the perfect lap. For example, the driver’s ability to pilot the car through corners with plenty of oversteer and opposite lock is recorded by the M Drift Analyser, activated via the iDrive menu.
Other functions of M Drive Professional include the M Laptimer, also accessed via the iDrive menu, which delivers a far-reaching race performance analysis. The driver can also analyse the data recorded during their track outing in detail using the BMW M Laptimer app on their Apple iPhone – and share selected information with the online community if they wish.
Enhanced individualisation of the powertrain and chassis via the Setup button
As in the predecessor models, drivers of the new BMW M3 Competition Saloon and new BMW M4 Competition Coupé can activate various settings for the engine, chassis and steering independently of one another. In addition, the braking system and traction control can now also be configured as required.
The new Setup button on the centre console provides direct access to the settings options for the seven powertrain and chassis parameters. Depending on the model variant and the car’s specification, the Gear Shift Assistant, M xDrive and traction can also be controlled via the button in just a single step.
Two individually configured M Setup variants can be stored permanently, together with the preferred settings for the engine noise, the driving stability control system, the Auto Start-Stop function and the shift characteristics of the eight-speed M Steptronic transmission.
Pure driving pleasure at your fingertips: the M Mode button
The control panel on the centre console of the new BMW M3 Competition Saloon and new BMW M4 Competition Coupé also houses the M Mode button.
This can be used to adjust the responses and characteristics of the driver assistance systems and the displays in the instrument cluster and Head-Up Display. The driver can choose from ROAD, SPORT and TRACK settings.
In the basic ROAD setting, all the standard and optional driver assistance systems are fully activated. In the SPORT setting, the driver assistance systems activated through the driver’s chosen configuration limit themselves to warnings of speed limits and overtaking restrictions, for example.
Utilising M Drive Professional, drivers can also select TRACK mode, which is developed exclusively for driving on race circuits and includes the deactivation of all the comfort and safety functions of the driver assistance systems.
Driver assistance systems: comfort and safety as desired
Both models come as standard with Parking Assistant, Cruise control with braking function and Front Collision Warning with brake intervention, the Lane Departure Warning system including lane return with steering assistance, the Attentiveness Assistant and the Speed Limit Info system.
Also standard is Driving Assistant, which brings the Lane Change Warning, rear crossing traffic warning and Rear Collision Prevention into play. Customers can also add the Driving Assistant Professional as part of the optional Technology Plus Pack, which includes the Steering and Lane Control Assistant with new Active Navigation function. The new Emergency Lane Assistant, meanwhile, guides the car automatically to the most appropriate side of its lane in tailbacks on the motorway.
The Parking Assistant comprises functions such as the Reversing Assistant, while Parking Assistant Plus, available individually or as part of the optional Technology Plus Package, adds Surround View and Remote 3D View.
Also included in this package is the BMW Drive Recorder which uses the driver assistance systems’ cameras to record video sequences outside the car of up to 40 seconds in length.
Standout styling from the M-specific kidney grille to the standard carbon roof
The distinctive, aerodynamically optimised exteriors of both new models perfectly convey their motorsport-inspired character. The BMW M3 Competition Saloon and new BMW M4 Competition Coupé add 122mm to the length of their predecessors and are 26mm and 17mm wider respectively.
Both models have a deep, frameless and all-black BMW kidney grille. The hallmark M double bars – now horizontally arranged – bear a model badge; either side of the grille are additional cooling intakes with honeycomb mesh covers.
Shadowline LED headlights, with darkened inlays adorning their upper edges are also standard. Adaptive LED Headlights with BMW Laserlight including BMW Selective Beam non-dazzling high beam assistant are available as the optional Visibility Package.
The most striking design feature alongside the prominently flared wheel arches are the extended side sills. Together with the attachment parts for the front and rear aprons, they form a High-gloss Black band around the whole of the car. The traditional M gills are integrated neatly into the front side panels and the M-specific High-gloss Black exterior mirrors have aerodynamically optimised contouring. The roof of both models is made from high-tech carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP).
Two fins running longitudinally over the CFRP roof optimise airflow, as does the rear spoiler, which is painted in High-gloss Black and has a central notch. The rear diffuser, finished in black and with eye-catching fins, frames the exhaust system’s pairs of tailpipes (each measuring 100mm in diameter). Darkened, full-LED rear light clusters with L-shaped taillights complete the rear end.
Exclusive exterior paint shades and optional M Carbon exterior package
Customers can now also specify their BMW M3 Competition Saloon and new BMW M4 Competition Coupé in the new and exclusive exterior paint shades Sao Paulo Yellow non-metallic, Toronto Red metallic and Isle of Man Green metallic.
A model-specific M Carbon exterior package is also available, comprising of inlays for the newly designed wide front air intakes and a rear diffuser, exterior mirror caps and a rear spoiler all made from CFRP. It is available individually or as part of the optional M Carbon Package, which also includes the M Carbon bucket seats.
New M light-alloy wheels with larger diameter at the rear
The new BMW M3 Competition Saloon and BMW M4 Competition Coupé come as standard with a new M light-alloy design using 19-inch wheels at the front and 20-inch wheels at the and, for the first time, with M brakes available in Blue, Red or Black.
Interior: ergonomic design intensifies M feeling
The latest interior design language introduced in the new BMW 3 Series and new BMW 4 Series Coupé has been taken to its sporting extreme in these two high-performance models.
Signature M details include red accents for the M buttons on the M leather steering wheel and the start/stop button on the centre console. The selector lever with-Drivelogic switch is leather surfaced with an embedded M logo and stitching in M colours.
An anthracite-coloured BMW Individual headliner and interior trim strips in Carbon Fibre High-gloss are standard. Fine-grain Merino black leather trim is standard as are M sport seats, which are electrically adjustable and heated. These seats have pronounced side bolsters, integrated head restraints and an illuminated model badge.
A highlight of the options list is the new M Carbon bucket seats for the driver and front passenger, which include CFRP in their construction and save 9.6kg over the standard M sport seats. These can be specified on their own or within the M Carbon Package.
An array of new additions to the standard and optional equipment lists ensure that comfort and functionality are also taken to new highs. The BMW Live Cockpit Professional with a fully digital display grouping, the cloud-based navigation system BMW Maps and the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant are all standard.
BMW Live Cockpit Professional: fully digital display grouping with M-specific details
The fully digital display grouping – made up of a high-resolution instrument cluster with a 12.3-inch screen behind the steering wheel and a 10.25-inch Control Display – is part of the BMW Live Cockpit Professional, which is fitted as standard.
BMW Maps and optimised smartphone integration
BMW Live Cockpit Professional also includes a multimedia system, the cloud-based BMW Maps navigation system, two USB ports for data transfer and a WiFi interface, plus a built-in SIM card with 4G LTE connectivity. This enables use of numerous other digital services including BMW TeleServices and Intelligent Emergency Call, Real Time Traffic Information with hazard warning, Remote Services and Concierge Services. Wireless charging for compatible smartphones is also part of the standard specification.
Optimised smartphone integration also features as standard. Alongside Apple CarPlay, Android Auto can now also be used via the car’s operating system. Meanwhile, the Remote Software Upgrade function enables improved vehicle functions and additional digital services to be imported into the car over the air.
Wide variety of option packages for enhancing comfort and individuality
The significant additions to the standard specification of the predecessor models and an attractive selection of option packages also help to enhance driving comfort. The new BMW M3 Competition Saloon and new BMW M4 Competition Coupé are equipped as standard with three-zone automatic climate control, and configurable LED interior lighting with ambient lighting. The BMW Head-Up Display, along with the 16 speaker Harman Kardon HiFi and BMW Gesture Control are added to the list of standard features, whilst on the outside Sun Protection glazing and new Shadowline Headlights feature for the first time.
Customers can choose from a variety of optional Packages – Comfort, M Carbon, Visibility, Technology Plus, M Pro and Ultimate. Each has been compiled to further elevate the M experience and tailor it to the customer’s preference, the individual components perfectly complementing each other.
M Pro Package: reduced weight, increased performance
The M Pro Package – offered for the first time for the new BMW M3 Competition Saloon and new BMW M4 Competition Coupé – combines M Carbon ceramics with the M Driver package for customers who are focused on using their vehicle on the race circuit.
Improved choice and customisation
Customers of the new BMW M3 Competition Saloon and new BMW M4 Competition Coupé are being offered more choice than ever before. Alongside the choice of three standard brake callipers and the M Carbon ceramics, customers are able to choose any exterior paint colour from BMW Individual Paints – giving customers more bespoke paint options that any other model in the BMW range.
For the first time on the M3 and M4, customers will also have a choice between two wheel designs available in four colours. Available in 19” or 20” M Forged alloys, customers can chose between Double Spoke 826M in Bicolour Black or Jet Black or Double Spoke 825M in either Bicolour Black or Orbit Grey Matt.