The BMW M3 is an icon of motoring. It essentially created the luxury sport coupe segment decades ago and has been praised for its engaging driving dynamics across its generations. After a brief absence, the 2021 BMW M3 is set for release in the spring of 2021 and its looks are ... challenging. That's really too bad because it boasts promising performance figures.
2021 BMW M3
Powering the standard M3 is a 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged inline six-cylinder with an output of 473 horsepower and 406 lb-ft of torque (a bump of 48 hp over the previous model). Stepping up to the M3 Competition costs an additional $2,900 and increases output to 503 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque. Alongside an eight-speed sport-tuned automatic transmission is a six-speed manual, which is a rarity for luxury cars these days. In the interest of setting the quickest acceleration times possible, the Competition model will be automatic-only.
Not surprisingly, the M3's interior is similar in layout and design to the current BMW 3 Series on which it is based. There are some unique and subtle differences, with the M3 receiving a smattering of red buttons, available carbon-fiber trim elements, and a new sport seat with aggressive side bolstering. Optional carbon-fiber bucket seats are also available, with cutouts for multipoint racing seat belts.
BMW's latest iDrive 7.0 software powers the new M3's infotainment system and remains one of the most intuitive interfaces in the class. The large 10.25-inch display dominates the upper dash, and the system can be controlled via touch or by using a traditional dial on the center console. To help further reduce distraction, a robust voice recognition system controls a variety of vehicle functions so the driver can keep both hands on the wheel. Wireless versions of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, as is a suite of performance-focused apps and a navigation system. A head-up display is optional.
The specs, performance numbers and mechanical upgrades suggest the new 2021 BMW M3 has the potential to take the lead in its class. But while we hate to sound superficial, the ridiculous grille may very well be a deal-breaker for some.