New BMW M3 and M4 Competition arrive in Mzansi

The new BMW M4 Competition Coupé, left, and BMW M3 Competition Sedan are now available in SA.
The new BMW M4 Competition Coupé, left, and BMW M3 Competition Sedan are now available in SA.
Image: Supplied

The all-new and somewhat controversial (cue those vertical kidney grilles) 2021 BMW M3 Competition Sedan and M4 Coupé Competition models are alive and kicking in SA. 

Powered by the Munich firm's S58 straight-six turbocharged petrol engine, both variants take to the asphalt with no less than 375kW and 650Nm worth of torque – figures that promise some storming straight-line performance.

BMW claims both will rocket from 0-100km/h in a scant 3.9 seconds. Top speed is capped at 250km/h, but when fitted with the optional M Driver’s Package this is raised to a license-revoking 290km/h.

Drive is sent exclusively to the rear wheels via an eight‑speed M Steptronic transmission equipped with Drivelogic and offering three different shift programs. Unfortunately there is no option of a manual – sorry purists.

Later in the year (the fourth quarter to be precise) both Competition models will be made available with the M xDrive all-wheel-drive system that gives pilots no less than three different drive modes: 4WD, 4WD Sport and 2WD.

Moving on to the chassis side of things and both the M3 Competition and M4 Competition ride upon staggered M light-alloy wheels: 18-inch front and 19-inch rear. Ultra-sticky performance tyres are available as an option for customers seeking extra mechanical grip.

Also present is BMW's trick "Adaptive M" suspension that offers electronically controlled shock absorbers and variable ratio "M Servotronic" steering. Customers can also look forward to beefed-up "M‑specific" front and rear axle modifications plus a new integrated braking system with two settings for pedal feel and response. BMW "M Compound" brakes are standard with "M Carbon" ceramic brakes available as an option. Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), including "M Dynamic Mode", also features, as does integrated wheel slip limitation and "M Traction Control" adjustable through 10 stages. 

Aggressive styling has long been a M Division trademark and both Competition variants sport all manner of exterior tweaks. Key differentiators include aggressively flared wheel arches, two sets of double exhaust pipes (each pipe measuring 100mm in diameter) and an unpainted CFRP roof skin. Special race car-inspired air "flics" set on either side of the front apron help to optimise aerodynamics at higher speeds. 

What can you expect in terms of pricing? Well one thing for sure is that they're certainly not cheap – from launch the new BMW M3 Competition Sedan will set you back a cool R1,860,000 while the sleeker M4 Competition Coupé retails for R1,940,000.

Click back later in the week to read our first driving impressions.

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