2021 BMW M3 and M4 Competition: prices, specification and performance

The latest versions of the BMW M3 saloon and M4 coupe have been revealed with powerful engines, rapid acceleration and a controversial look

James Allen
Oct 30, 2020

BMW has pulled the wraps of the flagship, performance-focused versions of its 3 Series saloon and 4 Series coupe models - the M3 Competition and M4 Competition, respectively. With more power than ever before, the pair promise to be the fastest M3 and M4 to date - and, thanks to the aggressive styling, there’s also no chance of mistaking these new versions with the ones they replace.

Just like the previous M3 and M4, the latest generation cars have turbocharged 3.0-litre petrol engines under the bonnet - though, with their outputs of 510hp and 650Nm of torque, they’re far more potent than the previous versions. All of that power means both cars can accelerate from 0-62mph in 3.9 seconds and, depending on which options are fitted, hit a top speed of up to 180mph.

BMW has also crammed lots of features into the new M3 and M4, ranging from performance-enhancing parts like bigger brakes and adjustable suspension, to features such as a 10.3-inch touchscreen media system, a suite of safety assists and more supportive front seats that help give the cabin a sporty makeover.

When the M car duo go on sale in March 2021, prices for the M3 Competition version will start at £74,755, with the M4 Competition carrying a slightly higher premium at £76,055. These are high prices for cars of this size, however these are very much high performance machines.

Quick facts

  • New M3 saloon and M4 coupe revealed
  • 510hp and 690Nm of torque
  • 0-62mph in 3.9 seconds
  • All-wheel drive versions on the way
  • Prices from £74,755 upwards
  • On sale in March 2021

2021 BMW M3 and M4 Competition performance

While we’ll let you make up your own mind over the looks of the new M3 and M4, there’s no debate over the fact they're incredibly fast cars. According to BMW, both cars can get from 0-62mph in a mere 3.9 seconds - which means the M3 and M4 have the sort of off-the-line acceleration that wouldn’t be out of place in a high-end supercar. Both cars also have an electronically limited 155mph top speed, though you can raise this to 180mph if you tick the option box for the M Pro Package.

That performance is facilitated by a very powerful engine. Both the M3 and M4 have the same 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged six-cylinder petrol engine under the bonnet, which produces a very strong 510hp at its 7,250rpm redline - meaning that this is an engine that rewards being worked hard at high engine speeds. However, there’s a lot of mid-range pulling power on tap, too, as up to 650Nm of muscle is available from 2,700rpm to 5,500rpm - offering plenty of accelerative punch at low to middling engine speeds.

As expected, considering the performance on offer, running costs for the new M3 and M4 will be pretty steep. BMW quotes an identical 27.7mpg fuel economy figure for both cars, and the claimed CO2 emissions of 234g/km means they’ll also come with a very high first year tax bill.

As UK cars are only available in a Competition spec, the new M3 and M4 won’t be available with a manual gearbox. Instead, the BMW M pair will only be fitted with an eight-speed automatic transmission, which will send the engine’s power to the rear wheels.

2021 BMW M3 and M4 Competition all-wheel drive versions

From launch, the BMW M3 and M4 Competition will only be available with rear-wheel drive. That is set to change from summer 2021, however, as that’s when BMW plans to introduce an all-wheel drive option for both cars.

Thanks to the extra grip when accelerating, compared with the two-wheel drive versions, it’s expected the all-wheel drive M3 and M4 will have even faster off-the-line acceleration - don’t be surprised if BMW ends up quoting 0-62mph times around the 3.7-second mark for both cars. Having an extra pair of driven wheels should mean the car will be a bit easier to drive when the roads are slippery, too, as half as much power goes to each driven wheel.

Just like the all-wheel drive set-up seen in other sporty BMWs like the M5 saloon, the M3 and M4 will also have a mode that turns the car back into a rear-wheel drive performance machine for those who want to slide the car around more. As this setting also fully disables the car’s stability control driver assists, this is something best used on track rather than public roads.

2021 BMW M3 and M4 Competition specifications and in-car tech

Due to their performance-focused nature, the BMW M3 and M4 Competition cars come with a few more sporty features than the standard 3 Series and 4 Series upon which they’re based. Both cars come as standard with powerful brakes, adjustable suspension and the obligatory M-branded interior pieces like a redesigned steering wheel and more supportive front seats. You can make the M3 and M4 even racier with optional extras such as lightweight carbon fibre-backed front seats and a race-inspired carbon ceramic brake disc setup, too.

While full specifications will be revealed closer to launch, BMW has confirmed some of the other features that will come as standard on the new M3 and M4. Both cars will have a 10.3-inch touchscreen media system with built-in sat-nav and smartphone connectivity via Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, as well as three-zone air-conditioning and a 16-speaker Harman Kardon sound system. Safety assists such as lane departure warning and autonomous emergency braking are available out of the box, too.

Exact dimensions data hasn’t been revealed yet, though it’s expected the two cars will have similar amounts of interior space to their 3 Series and 4 Series counterparts. However, do note that while the M3 is available as a five-seater, the M4 is only available with four seats.

2021 BMW M3 and M4 Competition prices and release dates

When the BMW M3 and M4 Competition go on sale in March 2021, they’ll firmly be the most expensive versions of the 3 Series and 4 Series ranges. Prices for the M3 saloon will start at £74,755, with the M4 coupe starting slightly higher at £76,055.

 

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