More power, all-wheel-drive and an improved focus on track driving - the new BMW M3 Competition Saloon and M4 Competition Coupe fuse performance with everyday usability.
And while those striking new looks are bold, and potentially divisive for BMW fans, there’s no denying how impressive the stats are.
Both cars share the same engine - a 3.0 litre, six cylinder in-line petrol with bespoke M TwinPower Turbo technology.
And now there’s 60hp more power than the previous mill - taking things up to 510hp, while peak torque of 650Nm is on tap between 2,700 and 5,500rpm.
That all equates to a 0-62mph time of 3.9 seconds, while the top speed is electronically limited to 155mph, rising to 180mph if you go for the optional ‘M Pro Package’.
Fitted as standard is an eight-speed M Steptronic transmission with ‘Drivelogic’, that comes with carbon gearshift paddles on the steering wheel - a simple tap of those paddles and the driver can switch from automatic to manual mode.
A BMW spokesperson explains: “The engine’s power is distributed between the front and rear wheels via the transfer case’s electronically controlled multi-plate clutch, before the Active M Differential splits it again between the two rear wheels.”
That means better acceleration from a standstill as well as ‘unshakable traction’, and should prove popular with enthusiasts.
Also making its debut is the ‘M Drive Professional’ system, which has been developed specifically for track driving. In essence, it gives drivers all they need to record a perfect lap - from drift analysis to a laptimer that uploads all of your stats to your mobile phone.
Elsewhere there are three modes to adjust the suspension - COMFORT, SPORT and the track-focused SPORT PLUS - alongside a ten stage traction control system. Select ‘TRACK’ mode via the M Mode button and all the driver assistance systems are turned off for maximum hoon-ability.
Meanwhile both models come as standard with Parking Assistant, Cruise control with braking function and Front Collision Warning with brake intervention, a Lane Departure Warning system that includes lane return with steering assistance, and an Attentiveness Assistant, meaning they should be a pleasure to live with on a day-to-day basis.
And then there’s the way the cars both look.
That kidney grille might resemble a skeleton’s nose, but it’s aggressive enough to turn heads, while both cars are also around 20mm wider than their predecessors, making them look even more poised.
Inside the cockpit there’s swathes of leather, a 12.3 inch touch screen - and the option of M Carbon bucket seats for the driver and front passenger that save 9.6kg in weight.
As BMW points out, the goal here is in ‘delivering pure driving pleasure’ - and this pair of high performers should certainly achieve that aim.
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