While the current-generation F80 BMW M3 doesn’t get much love, it’s still a great everyday performance package. It’s fast, fun to drive and usable as a daily driver. However, it seemed to be lacking a bit of the fizz that made the previous generations of M3 so great. So BMW decided to remedy that by giving it the Competition Package. What the Comp Pack does is sharpen the M3 up with new suspension, revised steering, new wheels and a few extra ponies. Does it work? Car and Driver finds out.
We’ve actually tested both the BMW M3 and M4 with the Competition Package before. But it’s always good to get another perspective on a car and see how theirs compares to ours. In this case, the folks at Car and Driver seem to feel quite similarly about the M3 Comp Pack as we do — it’s how the M3 should have been in the first place.
With sharper steering and a revised suspension, that’s simultaneously firmer while being more comfortable, the M3 Comp Pack is the perfect blend of weekday comfort and weekend performance. The ride is firm, but not overly so and the steering is sharp but not over-boosted. Could the steering use more feel? Of course, as can be said about any modern performance car with electric power steering. However, it’s incredible accurate and precise and better than the standard car’s. Could the suspension have the one-setting-fits-all style of perfection the way previous M3s had? Yes, but for an adjustable setup, it’s really good.
Then there’s the power. While previous M3s had delicious inline-six exhaust notes, the new M3 has addictive mid-range torque. It simply pulls like a freight train at any rpm in any gear. It’s a torque monster and that instant surge of power becomes addicting. It’s genuinely point and shoot, with any corner or gap in traffic. 444 hp and 406 lb-ft of torque is more than enough to be hilariously entertaining.
What BMW set out to do with the Competition Package was sharpen the M3/M4 up without taking away its everyday usability. In that endeavor, BMW has succeeded. The BMW M3 Competition package is quite possibly the best overall package for performance and usability in its price range. And with the added agility of its steering and suspension, this new M3 Comp Pack is closer to what M really stands for than the standard car. We think so and it seems as if Car and Driver thinks so as well.