Every year, UK magazine Auto Express hosts their own Performance Car Of The Year Awards. This year’s top place goes to the Aston Martin, followed by Audi’s supercar, the R8. Another Audi product, the super sporty coupe RS5 closes the podium.
BMW M3 Competition ranks fifth this year.
M3 as seen by AutoExpress:
“Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? The BMW M3 is approaching its third birthday, but the addition of a special new Competition Package has earned this extremely capable car a coveted top five finish in our performance shoot-out.
The £3,315 kit is available only on the coupé. It brings revised adaptive dampers with a firmer Sport setting, tweaked Dynamic Stability Control, a 10mm lower ride height and eye-catching 19-inch multi-spoke alloys. While the changes don’t look like much on paper, they make the M3 even more engaging to drive.
As you’d expect, the thick-rimmed steering wheel requires some muscle, but it has accurate responses and plenty of feel. What stands out is the perfectly balanced chassis and great poise. On the track, it rewards precision and smoothness; disable the traction control, and thrilling powerslides are easily provoked.
Bosses have left the amazing 4.0-litre V8 untouched. The 414bhp unit delivers breathtaking acceleration and a race-bred soundtrack that never fails to put a smile on your face. Just as impressive is the optional seven-speed twin clutch gearbox (£2,590), which serves up rapid-fire shifts when you’re chasing a lap time, and seamless automatic changes when you want to cruise.
As before, the huge reserves of grip and rock-solid composure count against the M3 on the road – the model’s limits are out of reach on the public highway, which takes away some involvement. But even this fails to detract from the BMW’s incredible talents. With its four-seat layout, large luggage bay and comfortable cabin, this is a genuine supercar for all seasons. There’s definitely life in the old dog yet!”