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BMW M3 Competition gets subtle new look and power hike to 523bhp

The last thing BMW’s mid-tier M car needed was more power, but that’s exactly what it’s been given

Alongside a lightly tweaked version of the standard 3 Series, BMW has pulled the covers off its updated M3 Competition – ushering in a small power boost, subtle visual changes and a range of interior revisions.

Utilising the same 3.0-litre twin-turbo six-cylinder engine as before, the new BMW M3 and BMW M3 Touring get a 20bhp power hike thanks to “optimised configuration of the digital engine control unit”. That means overall output now stands at 523bhp, with peak torque unchanged at 650Nm. BMW says the result is “even more ferocious, sustained power delivery that adds another layer of intensity to the performance experience”.

That boost shaves 0.4 seconds from the M3 Competition saloon’s 0-62mph time, which now stands at 3.5 seconds. The M3 Touring is just one-tenth slower over the benchmark sprint. BMW claims the four-door car can do 0-124mph in 11.8 seconds – half-a-second quicker than the old car. Top speed stands at an electronically limited 155mph, but can be raised to 180mph (174mph for the Touring) with the M Driver’s Package fitted.

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Visual upgrades for the M3 include a new set of LED lights with arrow-shaped daytime running lights, first seen on the recently revealed M4 Competition. The adaptive LED headlights with matrix technology feature blue inlays.

All versions of the M3 Competition feature forged alloy wheels in axle-specific (19-inch front and 20-inch rear) sizes. A Jetblack design is standard fit, but BMW says customers can specify a set of M light-alloy wheels in silver for the first time. Continuing on that theme, the M3 badge on the bootlid is now accented by a silver-coloured surround.

Inside, and mirroring changes to the standard 3 Series, the M3 comes with BMW’s latest Operating System 8.5 for the infotainment. There’s a new three-spoke M steering wheel with multifunction buttons and a red 12 o’clock marker; an identical wheel trimmed in Alcantara is available for the first time.

Elsewhere, an M Carbon exterior package is offered, bringing new inlays for the front air intakes, a new diffuser, bootlid spoiler and mirror caps. The M Race Track package adds ceramic brakes and carbon bucket seats, contributing to a 25kg weight reduction over the base car.

Prices for the 2024 BMW M3 Competition start at £82,420, with the Touring costing from £84,700. Production is said to start alongside the standard 3 Series in July, with customer cars due later in the summer.

Click here for our list of the best performance cars...

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Deputy editor

Richard has been part of the team for over a decade. During this time he has covered a huge amount of news and reviews for Auto Express, as well as being the face of Carbuyer and DrivingElectric on Youtube. In his current role as deputy editor, he is now responsible for keeping our content flowing and managing our team of talented writers.

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