The 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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An M3 with the Competition Package raises this to 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 stripped-out CS counterpart has even more power (454bhp), a quicker 0-62mph time (3.9sec) and a faster top speed (174mph). It’s a marked improvement over a standard M3, but also costs a hefty £86,425.