Power boost for updated 4WD-only BMW M3

Power boost for updated 4WD-only BMW M3



The new M3 receives a 20bhp power boost, thanks to an ECU remap

Hottest 3 Series gets raft of performance-focused upgrades and subtle styling tweaks, drops RWD variant

BMW has given the M3 Competition a series of performance and technology upgrades as part of a mid-life facelift that includes more power, subtle styling tweaks and chassis upgrades.

Powered by the same twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre straight six as before (codenamed B58), the Mercedes-AMG C63 S E Performance rival receives a 20bhp power boost from an ECU remap, so it now produces 523bhp and 479lb ft.

Because the M3 is now exclusively four-wheel-drive, the Competition variant is now the only one available. However, the system is predominantly rear-biased and can send all of its power to the rear wheels if the stability control is disabled.

Peak power is delivered at higher revs than it was before, at 6250rpm, compared with the old car's 5600rpm. Peak torque is also sustained for longer in the rev range, maxing out at 5730rpm versus 5500rpm. 

Both of these performance tweaks provide more aggressive and sustained power delivery and have been designed to optimise performance on a track.

The M3's 0-62mph time is 0.4sec faster than before, at 3.5sec, and its top speed is limited to 155mph. Customers can option an M Driver's package that increases the top speed to 180mph for the saloon or 174mph for the M3 Touring estate. 

Both the saloon and estate variants also get a 0-125mph time 0.5sec quicker than before, at 11.8sec and 12.4sec respectively. 

Outside, the new M3 features a range of subtle styling revisions, including new arrow-shaped LED headlight designs; new alloy wheel designs split into 19in sets at the front and 20in sets at the rear; new colours for the wheels themselves; and redesigned M3 badging.

Revisions inside are more extensive. Included is the introduction of BMW's latest iDrive infotainment system, as in the standard new 3 Series. This introduces a widget bar that can be customised with the driver's favourite functions, as well as augmented reality for the sat-nav, 5G connectivity and a streamlined system to connect the car with the MyBMW app. 

All models come with a 14.9in curved infotainment display beside a 12.3in instrumentation display, with graphics specific to M cars.

Additionally, there's a new flat-bottomed steering wheel from the 5 Series and 7 Series available in leather and - for the first time - Alcantara, as well as new aluminium trim pieces that now come as standard when they were an option before.

The M3 Touring has the same boot capacity as before, at 500 litres when the rear seats are in place and 1510 litres with them folded down.

Set to be built from July, the new M3 is priced from £82,420 for the saloon, with the estate costing £2280 more. This makes it £15,110 cheaper than the Mercedes-AMG C63 saloon and £9445 more expensive than the Audi RS4 Avant estate.

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