Standard M3 and M4 or Competition – A Sacrifice Must Be Made

Along with a plethora of official spy shots, BMW released quite a
bit of information about the upcoming M3 and M4. The first part of that information is that the M3 and M4 will be available in standard or Competition trim, with the Competition trim, obviously, being a little more powerful. The base models will deliver a cool 480 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque – figures that represent a 55 horsepower and 73 pound-foot increase over the current U.S. models (based on the M4). Meanwhile, the Competition models will deliver 510 horsepower, an improvement of 85 horsepower over the current M3 and M4 or 66 horsepower over the current Competition models.

However, when it comes to buying the next-gen M3 or M4, it will be about more than choosing between having two and four doors, or an extra reserve of horsepower. The base M3 and M4 will be offered with a manual transmission, and everything is right in the world. But, if you want either of the Competition models, you’ll have to deal with BMW’s (rather awesome for what it is) eight-speed automatic transmission, presumably with flappy paddles behind the steering wheel. At launch, only RWD will be offered, but eventually xDrive AWD will make it to the options list for the Competition model sometime a year or two after launch.

In the press release that gave us this information, Dirk Hacker, the Head of Development for M Automobiles, said,

“For customers who prefer a puristic performance experience and particularly intense interaction with their vehicle, the model variants with a manual transmission constitute an offer that is unique in this segment. On the other hand, with the Competition versions of the new BMW M3 Sedan and new BMW M4 Coupe, we are addressing maximum dynamics in regards power development and transfer—initially with classic rear-wheel drive and, at a later date, also in conjunction with the latest version of our four-wheel-drive system M xDrive.”

As of now, BMW hasn’t confirmed which straight-six engine it is cramming under the hood of the new M3 and M4, but there’s a good chance it’s the S58 that also powers the X3 and X4 M.

Will the 2021 BMW M3 and M4 Beat Mercedes?

With 480-510 horsepower on tap, the M3 and M4 will give both the Mercedes-AMG C63 S and the Audi RS5 a battle worthy of Klingon songs. With the Audi RS5 delivering just 444 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque, both trims of the M3 and M4 will beat it to the ground with extreme prejudice. The standard models will fall just shy of the AMG C63 S, but the Competition models will have it by 7 horsepower and 36 pound-feet of torque.

We have yet to be enlightened about how fast the new M3 and M4 will be, but the C63 S and RS5 can make it to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds. With the current M4 in non-competition form hitting the sprint in 3.9 seconds, you can bet the M3 Competition will get there in 3.7 and the M4 competition should at least match the 3.8-second sprint.

This content was originally published here.