If you can look beyond its controversial looks, the 2021 BMW M3 Competition seems to be a superb sports sedan. Is it enough to impress Harry Metcalfe, however?
The veteran automotive journalist has pretty much driven every BMW M car that there has ever been, meaning he is the perfect person to put the new M3 through its paces.
Metcalfe first discusses the exterior design of the M3 Competition. While he says it has some nice angles, he does critique some of the design choices, including the flared wheel arches. The interior, while great, isn’t perfect either and the optional carbon fiber bucket seats won’t be to everyone’s tastes as Metcalfe states that the bolsters are a little too aggressive.
Then there’s the drive. Powering the M3 Competition is a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged six-cylinder with 503 hp and 479 lb-ft (650 Nm) of torque mated to an eight-speed ZF automatic transmission. Metcalfe suggests the sedan feels faster than those figures suggest and says that in some conditions, it could benefit from the optional all-wheel drive system that’s launching soon.
Much has been said about the car’s automatic transmission as the previous-generation M3 featured a dual-clutch ‘box. Metcalfe says this new ZF transmission is better at slow speed duties than the dual-clutch but it simply doesn’t provide the same kind of crisp and instantaneous downshifts.