Performance and 0-60 time
The latest M3’s twin-turbocharged engine may not have the tantalising induction howl and high rev limit that previous M3 engines were famous for, but it what it lacks in sonorous delights it makes up for in bragging rights.
With 425bhp available from 5500 to 7300rpm and 406lb ft of torque from 1850 to 5500rpm, the M3 offers plenty of grunt. When we tested it we found the Bavarian saloon could accelerate from 0-60mph in 4.1sec (0.2sec faster than the claimed 0-62mph time of 4.3sec) and from 0-100mph in a frankly astonishing 8.6sec. Typically for a car of this type, the M3’s top speed is limited to 155mph.
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The M3 with the Competition Package gets 444bhp, 19bhp more than the standard car while torque remains the same. The extra power helps the more focused M3 reach 0-62mph just 0.1sec quicker than the claimed time of the basic version, at 4.2sec.
Acceleration times only tell half the story though, and the M3 is an astonishingly fast car with such huge reserves of torque that its performance is always available and only a twitch of your right foot away.
The M3’s two-door counterpart, the M4 is available with the Competition pack too. Its power and performance are a match for the saloon, however, the M4 is available in CS guise, a lightweight version with even more power (454bhp), a quicker 0-62mph time (3.1sec) and a faster top speed (174mph). It’s a makred improvement over a standard M4, and even a competition pack; in many respects it’s how the M4 should have been from the start. There isn’t, currently, an equivalent M3 with the CS’s powertrain, lightweight parts and more focused attitude, but we hope BMW applies the same approach to the saloon for a forthcoming model.