What is it?
The mid-life introduction of a Competition Package has become an established part of the M3 (and now M4) lifecycle, although you'd be forgiven for not knowing it. After all, when BMW came up with the idea on the fondly recalled E46, it opted to badge it the CS in the UK (a clever wheeze intended to highlight the model’s similarities with the low weight, very low volume and therefore highly sought-after CSL). The follow-up E90/E92 version - limited to shorter springs and a set of forged wheels - lacked the kind of consequential alterations that might have made it more memorable.
With the current F80/F82, the M division has endeavoured not to repeat the mistake. Most notably, it has opted to increase output from the turbocharged 3.0-litre straight-six. The gain may be modest - just 19bhp - but it is important: more is better in this class, and just as it helps distinguish the Competition Pack from the standard car, so the uprated 444bhp helps reduce the model’s headline deficiency versus the latest fire-breathing C63 AMG.
Elsewhere, new springs are again on the menu, accompanied by updated dampers and anti-roll bars, as well as a reconfiguring of the drive modes and stability control. The M sports exhaust is standard, as are the inevitably gargantuan, machine-polished 20in alloy wheels clad in Michelin Pilot Super Sport tyres. Lightweight sports seats are also part of the deal, but a significant overall reduction in mass is not: confirmation that the Competition Package is assuredly more about gilding the lily than stripping it back to its elements.