Opinion: The Ultimate M3 Competition Package

M3 Competition Package

We all know that over the last few weeks there has been a lot of debate on the weight and packaging with the 1M, that got me thinking about the M3 and the competition package. Currently the Competition Package features 19 ” wheels, an updated Electronic Damper Control (with a slight drop) and M Dynamic Mode. It is a pretty basic package with a sub-$3k price point. We have said countless times that there is no reason to buy an M3 without the Competition Pack in its current form as it looks great, adds some handling and is not that expensive.

Let ‘s be honest; it is mundane and boring to call a set of wheels, suspension and software a Competition Package.

When I hear competition, I think racing. Racing equates to more aggressiveness in all aspects of driving so why not make the package more aggressive? While the sky is the limit when you dream of the “ultimate “, I am keeping it within reason from the perspective of the manufacturer (BMW) and the consumer.

I would keep the current package and add in a Titanium or Incanel (lighter than titanium) exhaust to add some more sound to an already great soundtrack and to lessen the fat (You might see this exhaust in the not so distant future). The brakes are fine on the track with some quality pads so why not include a set of higher performance pads and a few swap outs at the dealer? Even better, why not as part of the package include track use wear and tear on certain items like brake pads, rotors and wheel bearings (with a cap at 2 sets) instead of many dealers policy of not cover track wear and tear. I am not asking for more power as the car really is quick enough if you drive it the right way. Driving the right way – 1 Day M school should be included so drivers can handle the car if they are new to the track. The other key feature of the Competition Package – a short throw shift kit for those that still row their own gears – DCT drivers you ‘re out of luck there!

In a nutshell that is what I would see as the Ultimate Competition package of substance and not to just add Carbon Fiber and badges everywhere. What are your thought?

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  • JonPD

    Agreed Michael, with the current build I would order it on the car but not sure I would really consider it to be much of a gain. Agreed also on changing the exhaust to lower the weight, I still have huge issues with the portly ///M products of the recent years. Guess that’s mostly due to luxury being piled on. While I think part of this is important for the brand I think ///M puts way to much into their cars now.

  • 03Beastcharmer

    I’d like to see some form of brake cooling & the BMW Performance seats, and some of the sound deadening pulled out to save weight, and then you wouldn’t need to change out the exhaust. Stylish light weight 18 in wheels. since it’s easier to get track tires in 18’s vs 19s.

  • Bob

    So is this an attack on the name or the package? -Confused Bob

    • Bob- you bring up a great point. I think the issue is that the E46 Competition Pack had more substance thanks to bits from the CSL, which were competition oriented.

      The E9X version is great as a “Handling Package” but does not add much more to the party. I think if for 2012 BMW was to offer some added bits from the GTS or even an exhaust that would be a “Competition Package”, if not astronomically priced. I feel BMW has a way to step the M3 up performance wise and a way to differentiate a Comp model vs. Standard model.

      The seats would require all sorts of federalization and engine upgrades are not needed. As for my thoughts on the track oriented warranty etc- just a way to promote more BMWs at the track and to get people to use their cars. Might be crazy but I like it!

      The E46 demand is high for competition models bc of the upgrades, the E9X with it’s monster motor will yield even more.

      Just my take on it. I love the upgrades on the current Comp pack and would have loved to have had them with my car but part of me still feels that the car could have come from the get go without an added package.


  • The car is no longer “right” for it. Like or not, the new M3 is a grand tourer. Grand tourers appeal to people that like the idea of driving a race car like machine but often hesitate to take it to the track, and let’s face it, most of them lack the skill to begin with. So I think a more aggressive package isn’t going to have the ROI BMW wants to see. Now, if you apply that same idea to the 1M… I think you’ve got something there.

  • Roland Renno

    Michael, I tend to agree with you in a way but I want to add that the fact of having the Competition Package should most importantly have an engine tuned a bit further more while retaining the same engine capacity a la 35iS i.e. BMW E92 M3 delivers 420 hp and BMW M3 E92 Competition Package should deliver 440 hp.

    BMW Power

  • m3bs

    Why not go a step further, like Ford is doing with the Laguna Seca Boss 302? Take out the back seat, put in some lightweight race seats up front, etc. I think the market is ripe for a truly trackworthy car from the showroom floor.

  • Don Hopings

    As expensive and as difficult as titanium is to work with, Inconel is more expensive and more difficult…