Based on the recently revised regular 3 Series, the 2021 BMW M3 aims to revive the famous driver intervention on the nameplate. BMW is committed to making this a reality. The next M3 will continue to offer a manual transmission. The new M3 has a 3.0-liter in-line six-cylinder with two turbochargers, which will be available in two states and develop 473 and 503 hp. However, the latter is reserved for the competition model, which is not included in the manual, but uses all-wheel drive for the first time. Likewise, the competition version will further highlight the performance potential of the sports sedan with track-ready hardware, which should challenge competitors such as the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio and the Mercedes-AMG C63.
What’s new for 2021?
For the year 2021, the M3 – together with the two-door M4 Coupé, which we are testing separately – is completely new and represents the sixth generation of the legendary sports sedan.
Pricing and which ones to buy
We’re glad that BMW still has an M3 that we can shift ourselves, but we’re disappointed that we can’t get the manual transmission from the more powerful Competition model. By the time we find out how good the new M3’s manual actually is – and how strong the performance is between the two transmissions – we’re leaning towards the ultimate version, especially since it’s only a few thousand dollars more.
Engine, transmission and power
Like the new BMW M4, the M3 also has a 3.0-liter in-line six-cylinder with two turbochargers. The normal version pumps out 473 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque. It is equipped with rear-wheel drive and a six-speed manual transmission as standard. The Competition variant is tuned to be even more powerful and generates 503 horses and 479 lb-ft of torque. However, it is only offered with the eight-speed automatic. That said, the M3 Competition now offers all-wheel drive, and this rear-wheel drive system has a rear-wheel-only mode that allows for a different kind of driveability – including the ability to hang the rear out as far as possible. Each M3 also has additional dampers and an adjustable brake pedal feel. The sedan can also be equipped with even more powerful carbon-ceramic brakes, which are equipped with cool, gold-colored brake calipers. While we can’t comment on how the new Bimmer drives until we get behind the wheel, we do know the regular M3 will ride on 18-inch wheels at the front and 19-inch wheels at the rear. The competition version will also have a staggered set of rollers, but measuring 19 inches at the front and 20 inches at the rear. We tested an X4M Competition SUV with the more powerful version of the Six that roared to 60 mph in just 3.3 seconds. Since the M3 Competition is hundreds of pounds lighter, it could break into the high two-second range.
Fuel consumption and real MPG
The EPA It is estimated that the 2021 M3 will earn 16 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway. However, we didn’t drive the Bimmer on our 75-mile highway route for fuel economy, which is part of our extensive test plan, so we can’t evaluate its real-world mpg.
Interior, comfort and cargo
In addition to the unique “M” badge and the clear details of the fairing, the interior of the M3 essentially corresponds to that of the regular 3 Series. This means that the M3 has the same design, passenger compartment and exterior view as its pedestrian counterpart. While M-Cars are known for their heartier performance, they also meet or exceed the materials and build quality of the top of the range 3 Series. Of course, the M3 has more accents of carbon fiber and microsuede for a racy aesthetic. The driver stands in front of a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster that switches to M View in the sportier driving modes. They are activated via distinctive red buttons on the clunky steering wheel of the M3. Switching to M-View adds a gearshift indicator and replaces the normal tachometer with a more readable one. The inner shelf comprises a compartment on the front and a container on the rear of the center console.
Infotainment and connectivity
The infotainment system of the M3 runs on a 12.3-inch touchscreen, which is mainly operated via a rotary knob and buttons on the center console. The system has multiple charging ports and a selection of standard and optional functions. Fortunately, BMW no longer needs a paid subscription for ple CarPlay and has finally introduced Android Auto. Both come standard, along with a Harman / Kardon sound system and a one-year subscription to SiriusXM satellite radio. The system can be equipped with gesture control, a subscription-based WLAN hotspot and a wireless charging pad.
Safety and driver assistance functions
The 2021 M3 has not been crash tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the Insurance Institute for Road Safety (IIHS). While the commitment of the driver has top priority for BMW in the M vehicles, the sedan has a range of standard and optional driver assistance technologies. The most important security features include:
- Blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic warning as standard
- Standard lane departure warning and lane departure warning
- Additional cruise control available
Guarantee and maintenance protection
BMW offers a limited powertrain warranty aimed at competitors such as Audi and Mercedes-AMG. It also offers longer free maintenance than these alternatives, but is still shorter than what Jaguar offers.
- The limited warranty is four years or 50,000 miles
- The powertrain is guaranteed for four years or 50,000 miles
- Free maintenance is covered for three years or 36,000 miles