Here's all we know about the power, ride and handling of the new BMW M3 and M3 Competition

And also the M4 and M4 Competition because they are the same underneath the metal.

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Here's all we know about the power, ride and handling of the new BMW M3 and M3 Competition

Much has been said, written and ridiculed about BMW's latest kidney grille that we often forget there's a whole high-performance car waiting to be noticed. And the vehicle in question isn't your run-off-mill high-performance sedan but something genuinely legendary, the BMW M3/M4.

Where once upon a time you had to wait a while longer before the more powerful 'Competition' spec car is released, BMW has decided to launch the 'regular' M3/M4 and M3/M4 Competition at the same time. Do note that their differences extend to more than just one being more powerful than the other. 

The M3/M4 and M3/M4 Competition is singing with the same engine, albeit in different tunes. The M3/M4's turbocharged inline-six produces 480hp and 550Nm while the M3/M4 Competition's generates 510hp and 650Nm. The transmission in each car further splits them apart. The M3/M4 comes only with a six-speed manual with Gear Shift Assistance to delight the enthusiasts. On the flip side, the eight-speed M Steptronic transmission with DriveLogic and three shift programs are exclusively found in the M3/M4 Competition.

All in all, the performance figures show what each car is capable of. The M3/M4 will complete its 0-100kph sprint in 4.2 seconds and 80-120kph in 4.1 seconds. On the other hand, the M3?M4 Competition accomplishes its 0-100kph in 3.9 seconds and 80-120kph in 2.6 seconds. Both cars have a top speed of 250kph or 290kph when optioned with the M Driver's Package.

Also, buyers of the Competition models can spec their cars with M xDrive starting mid-2021. Unlike the regular xDrive, the M xDrive is complete with Active M Differential, rear-wheel-biased setup and deactivated stability control. It also has three modes — 4WD, 4WD Sport and 2WD pure rear-wheel drive.

Because power is nothing without control, both versions of the M3/M4 comes fitted with Adaptive M suspension with electronically controlled shock absorbers and M Servotronic steering with variable ratio. The front and the rear axle has also been modified to M's specification. Stopping power comes courtesy of M Compound brakes with M Carbon ceramics brakes are available as an option. 

M Dynamic Mode with integrated wheel slip limitation is now part of the Dynamic Stability Control. The M Traction Control now has 10 degrees of adjustment to suit your current courage level.  

The standard M3/M4's forged M light-alloy wheel sizes are staggered; 18-inch in the front and 19-inch in the rear. The same can be said with the Competition models with M xDrive, which sport larger wheel sizes of 19 inches in the front and 20 inches in the rear. Performance tyres are available as a cost option. 

The M3/M4's stiff body structure and chassis mounting should help with its power delivery and handling. The performance sedan features model-specific bracing elements for the engine compartment, a front axle subframe with an aluminium shear panel, underfloor bracing elements and a rear axle subframe with a rigid connection to the body. 

If you don't understand any of that, then perhaps the M3/M4 isn't the car for you. Even if the new car does feature a myriad of driving tech, one cannot simply dismiss its pedigree. This is, after all, an M car, right?

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