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In-depth reviews

BMW M3 Competition review – design

Ahem, it’s challenging, and for mostly the wrong reasons. Spec carefully, though, and it does have a definite menace

Evo rating
Price
from £74,815
  • As quick and capable as you could possibly want
  • Bigger and heavier than you’d possibly like

So, the M3 Competition. Good car. Like, a really good car. Which brings us neatly to the G80 M3’s design, which surely we are over now, aren’t we? Yes, the new grille proves that Audi is not alone when it comes to offering oversized face furniture on its cars. And for some the new face of BMW’s fastest models is on a par with Ripley giving birth to an alien. 

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See one in a car park or on the road (the new M3, not a Xenomorph), however, and the initial shock dissipates. In a subtle hue it has all the menace you would expect of a full-blooded M-car, a car you get a good feeling about every time you approach it. We like it. There. We’ve said it.

From its rear three-quarters there’s enough aggression from the four exhaust tips, diffuser and gently swollen arches to draw you in. And in profile there’s just the right amount of surface detail mixed with chiselled edges to mark it out from a regular G80 saloon, which looks a little slab-sided by comparison.

Essentially, pick a more gentle shade than the options BMW used for the model’s launch and the G80 M-car looks every part the subtle(ish) supersaloon. It looks big, though. Remove the M3 badge from the bootlid and you’d be forgiven for thinking you were looking at an M5, a consequence of a set of haunches that a second-row forward would be proud of.

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