Both share the same 3.0-litre straight-six twin-turbo engine, delivering a potent 510hp and 479 lb-ft of torque. Both are underpinned by similarly tuned chassis to ensure they share the same distinctive M driving character, with handling that’s truly thrilling on any road. And both boast advanced M driving tech that lets you exploit every ounce of their potential in the unfettered environment of a track day.
Ultimately, what that means is a simple choice. The same great underpinnings, with your pick of four-door saloon practicality or two-door coupé style. So, here are all the reasons why the M3 and M4 (or, if you prefer, the M4 and M3) stand out.
Iconic M3 looks or sleek M4 coupé style
Fettling fantastic road-going BMWs and transforming them into apex-munching monsters has been the prerogative of BMW’s M division for half a century, and the latest beasts to be unshackled from the workshop of Bavaria’s most formidable tuner take two of the most enjoyable, relaxing and competent road cars around – the 3 Series saloon and 4 Series coupé – and inject them with unrivalled performance.
The new BMW M3 Competition Saloon and BMW M4 Competition Coupé perfectly epitomise bold BMW M design. From their large frameless kidney grilles and wide low-slung front air vents that highlight the potent straight-six under the bonnet, all the way to the muscular rear haunches, the swept-up M diffuser and the huge 100mm-diameter quad-pipe exhaust, there’s no mistaking the M DNA at play here.
You simply choose which look you prefer: the M3’s iconic saloon profile or the M4’s sleek two-door coupé style. Both models are available with a wide array of bold standout colours – including the new and exclusive Sao Paulo Yellow non-metallic, and the metallic Toronto Red and Isle of Man Green. Equally, you can add an extra dose of customised style with the M Carbon exterior pack or a wealth of BMW M Performance Parts to truly make your car your own.
Other than that, BMW has kept the M3 and M4 line-up relatively simple in the UK: focusing on the range-topping Competition spec that has always been the preferred choice for British drivers. You can also opt for your pick of traditional rear-wheel drive or – for the first time on the M3 and M4 – BMW’s advanced M xDrive all-wheel drive, which will be available to order later this summer.
Race-bred performance at heart
The beating heart of the BMW M3 Competition Saloon and M4 Competition Coupé is the latest S58 evolution of the iconic 3.0-litre straight-six twin-turbo – an engine tested to the limit in BMW’s GT3 race cars under the white-hot glare of the toughest round-the-clock endurance events.
BMW’s M engineers have honed every element of the S58’s design for the M3 and M4 – using advanced technologies such as wire-arc sprayed iron coatings and 3D printed cylinder heads to ensure the perfect blend of an incredibly rigid crankcase, lightweight components, ultra-low-friction surfaces and careful heat management for the best balance of efficient performance and thrilling power.
High Precision Injection delivers fuel into the combustion chambers at up to 350 bar at peak revs for faster injection, finer atomisation and a fuel-air mix that’s cleaner, more efficient and more potent, while the mono-scroll M TwinPower Turbo uses a flow-optimised design to reduce air pressure losses in the dual-flow air intake, as well as an electronically controlled wide-open wastegate for instantaneous response.