1 December 2004

BMW is launching a new performance pack for the M3, but it will only be on offer in North America – for now. The Competition Package will be launched at January’s Los Angeles Motor Show and carries a $4000 (£2120) premium over the standard car. BMW GB says it could introduce the package in the second half of 2005. By that point the new 3-series will be on sale, and it could help sell the out-going M3 before the 400bhp V8-powered replacement appears at the end of 2006.

There are no engine upgrades – instead, the package improves handling, with attention paid to the steering, suspension, tyres and brakes using technology from the hot M3 CSL.

According to BMW the steering is quicker and more direct, while the suspension is specifically tuned for more track-oriented performance. High-performance tyres, likely to be the same Michelin Pilot Sport Cups used on the CSL, are wrapped around 19in wheels. Brakes are upgraded to the CSL’s 345mm front and 328mm rear discs, and the Dynamic Stability Control comes with a less- intrusive M track mode.

Inside, an Alcantara steering wheel and handbrake are joined by aluminium trim, and the Interlagos Blue of the car above is unique to the package.

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