It’s hard to imagine anyone sitting behind the wheel of an M series and lamenting the car’s lack of speed and robustness. That’ll be too absurd. This range by BMW is, after all, the higher-powered fleet for adrenaline-loving fans and motor heads.
Case in point, the BMW M3 sedan, the most boisterous of the 3 Series line, promises 431bhp of muscle with 550Nm of torque with its turbocharged three-litre engine. This drives the car to complete the 100km dash in just 4.1 seconds. That’s the same amount of time it takes for a Bentley Continental GT, an Aston Martin Vanquish and a Mercedes CLS Class 63 AMG Shooting Brake. The M4 coupe boasts roughly the same stats too.
That said, there’s also no harm in injecting more muscle into a drive — something few would complain about. So when the Competition Package was introduced by the German automaker into the two Ms, it was, no doubt, very much welcomed.
Both cars still come with the same engine capacity but the Comp Pack improves performance, amplifying the power by 19bhp to propel each vehicle, now with 450 horses, to 100km/h from naught in four seconds flat. But I’ll be honest, the 0.1-second difference sounds advantageous, but behind the wheel, it does not feel significantly faster, especially if you’re taking on the straights.
The real difference lies in the drive experience. With the Comp Pack, the cars now come with Adaptive M Suspension that switches up the drive handling thanks to stiffer springs, upgraded dampers and more resistant anti-roll bars, along with reconfigured driving modes Comfort, Sport and Sport+. The rear axle and stability control have also been tweaked to match the upgrades, so the cars feel less jerky. And when it comes to taking the bends, everything feels more controlled and steady, with nary a drop in speed.
Sound too gets a perk-me-up, which is where the M sports exhaust system with black chrome tailpipes come in. Because of a more potent roar, it adds emotional resonance to the driving experience. Switch on the ignition and the car’s starting rumble alone is enough to set the adrenaline pumping.
But surely, as a car buyer, if you’re going to fork out extra cash for your daily ride, it shouldn’t just feel good. Let’s be real, we want aesthetics too. And thankfully, the Comp Pack does give the cars a welcomed makeover.
Inside the cabin, the M3 and M4 come with special lightweight M sports seats, with cool cut-outs in the lower back (around the kidney area). The automaker doesn’t reveal exactly how much weight the seats have helped shave off from the cars’ total weight but they certainly do provide an interesting talking point for passengers. Seat belts also come woven with subtle stripes in BMW M’s colours, creating a sportier ambience for the interiors.
On the outside, black chrome is the cohesive design thread that has been applied to the aforementioned tailpipes, double kidney grille, side window trims, window recess finishers, exterior window frames and bases, side gills and the model badge on the tail. To complete the look for a more aggressive stance, the big 20-inch M alloy wheels are the icing on top of the speeding cake.
In many ways, the Comp Pack makes the M3 sedan and M4 coupe feel more alive than its base versions. Other than upping the ante on the visual aspects, the experience ensures you’ll love the driver’s seat.
BMW M3 SEDAN & M4 COUPE WITH COMPETITION PACKAGE
Engine: 2,979cc six-cylinder, in-line, twin-turbo
Transmission: M DCT with Drivelogic
Max power: 450bhp @ 7,000rpm
Max torque: 550Nm @ 1,850-5,500rpm
Max speed: 250km/h
Acceleration: 0-100km/h in 4.0 seconds
Combined fuel consumption: 8.3L per 100km
CO2 emission: 194g/km