BMW UK has taken the wraps off of the M3 Competition package with new photos and an official release. However more importantly press drives have begun. Our favorite UK publication (our favorite in the world for that matter) had a chance to drive the car and give us some insight into how prevalent the upgrades really are. But first off some technical recap. The Competition package brings unique 19 ” CLS inspired wheels with 10 mm short springs (giving the car a resulting 10 mm drop). Elsewhere BMW revised the DSC to make it less intrusive and changed the damper settings (EDC) to make them slightly more aggressive.
Now onto EVO ‘s thoughts. Here ‘s an excerpt:
>Grit your teeth and you’ll find out that mixing Sport mode and UK B-roads isn’t all bad news, though. Yes, the ride can get slightly choppy and busy, especially when you load the nose under braking, but I’d swear that overall damper control is now less snatchy, the M3’s minimal body movements somehow more supple, giving you the sense the car’s more in control, more of the time. Make no mistake though, Sport mode is hard.
(Full gallery after the jump)
>The front end is exceptionally accurate, aided by steering weight that always corresponds directly with the amount of work the wheels are having to do, meaning you feel in very close contact with what the car is telling you. For the umpteenth time though BMW, the steering wheel rim does not have to be as fat as a Bratwurst. It really doesn’t help.
>The sharper front end seems to add even more turn-in grip, allowing you to bring the rear end into play on corner entry.
You can read the entire thing at EVO.
The BMW M3 is a car which defined a new vehicle segment 24 years ago when it first appeared and yet despite the best attempts of competitors who followed the vehicle has retained a class-leading position. Not only is the M3 viewed as the ultimate driving machine but it also class-leading in sales terms. The BMW M3 Coupé accounted for 680 sales last year in the UK and 1,226 in 2008. By contrast the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG had 389 and 154 buyers in the corresponding years, while Audi had 2 and 72 individual RS4 customers.
The introduction of the new Competition Package to the M3 Coupé is aimed at maintaining this dynamic and market leading position. Like all 2010 M3 derivatives, a Competition Package specified car now comes complete with the introduction of Auto Start-Stop technology as standard. This EfficientDynamics technology is new to the M3 range and has a marked positive effect on fuel consumption and emissions. The Competition Package also features a 10mm lower ride height, a new Sport setting within the standard Electronic Damper Control (EDC) and a re-programmed Dynamic Stability Control Plus (DSC+) system.
In profile, the new car also features 19-inch light-alloy wheels in a design inspired by the popular E46 M3 CSL for an overtly sporting look. The M3 Coupé with Competition Package retains the existing carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic roof panel with exposed weave as the standard M3.The carbon-fibre roof panel saves 5kgs over a conventional roof panel and lowers the centre of gravity to contribute to the M3’s benchmark driving dynamics.
BMW M3 engines took top category honours on a record six successive occasions in the Engine of the Year awards. The current V8 power unit develops 420hp at 8,300rpm and 400Nm of torque at 3,900rpm from its 3,999cc capacity engine, and red-lines at 8,400rpm.To highlight the flexibility of the powerplant, 85 per cent of torque is available over 6,500rpm.Power is transferred to the road by BMW M’s six-speed manual gearbox and variable M differential which conveys up to 100 per cent of available power to the wheel with most grip. Customers can upgrade to the paddle-shift (M Double Clutch Transmission) transmission with its enhanced fuel economy, CO2 emissions performance and faster acceleration.
The V8-powered BMW M3 easily breaks through the magical 100hp per litre barrier, offering 105hp per litre.This engine powers the car from zero to 62mph in 4.8 seconds (4.6 seconds for an M DCT transmission-equipped car) and on to a limited top speed of 155mph.However, these supercar levels of performance do not compromise economy with the car still delivering 22.8mpg (25.2mpg) on the combined cycle.
This relative frugal performance is delivered, to a major extent, thanks to BMW’s EfficientDynamics programme.Far from only influencing the smaller-engined cars in the range, the benefits of EfficientDynamics are offered on one of the most sporting BMW cars.
The BMW M3 Coupé with Competition Package, along with all other M3s, are the first BMWs in the UK to offer Auto Start-Stop technology on an engine that doesn’t have four-cylinders and this has an affect on emissions and economy. Brake Energy Regeneration pushes the boundaries of the possible further.This technology uses an Intelligent Alternator Control and Absorbent Glass Mat battery to recognise when the engine is on over-run and activates the alternator to charge the battery with what would previously have been wasted energy.
Both these measures see fuel economy improved by six per cent (M DCT-equipped car) compared to the previous model, while CO2 emissions are reduced from 285g/km to 263g/km.
The M3 Coupé with Competition Package features MDrive manager that brings together numerous personalised functions of the car.The settings for the Electronic Damper Control (Normal, Comfort and Sport), three DSC+ traction control settings and three specific engine control maps, plus the response rate of the Servotronic power steering can be controlled with one button on the steering wheel.Once the desired settings are created in the iDrive menu, part of the standard Professional Multimedia navigation system, one push of the MDrive button transforms the M3 from a car to drive to the shops to a track day special.
The Competition Package is priced at £3,315 in addition to the standard BMW M3 Coupé’s £53,275 OTR price.
– The BMW M3 Coupé with Competition Package is based on the most powerful road-going M3 ever.
– The Competition Package comprises revised Electronic Damper Control with a new Sport setting, 10mm lower ride height, a new DSC+ system to cater for enthusiastic driving and bespoke 19-inch CSL-style alloy wheels.
– The BMW M3 Coupé with Competition Package features EfficientDynamics fuel-saving and emissions-reducing technology. Auto Start-Stop makes its first appearance on a V8 engined BMW car in addition to Brake Energy Regeneration and other measures.
– The current generation of BMW M3 is the first road-going M3 to be offered with adjustable suspension.