The 2021 M3 and M4 are finally here and we can finally confirm that they will, in fact, be beasts. Starting at $69,900 (+995 destination), the M3 will make 473 HP in standard spec. The M4 meanwhile will start at 71,800 (72,795, once destination is factored in) and will get the same engine as the M3.

Both will be offered in Competition trim, that pushes the 3.0-liter inline 6’s power up to 503 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque. That’s an increase of 48 hp over the standard trim 2020 models, and 59 hp over the outgoing generation’s Competition model.

The extra power is good enough to get the competition models to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds, 0.3 seconds faster than the standard trim.

No matter your trim, the engine redlines at 7,200 and peak power is developed at 6,250 RPM. Peak torque (406 lb-ft) is reached at just 2,650 RPM in the standard Ms, while the competition models have to wait a beat for their peak torque (479 lb-ft)to be achieved at 2,750 RPM. Probably worth it, all things considered.

How do you develop all that power? Well, you start with a rigid, closed-deck engine that features wide-arc sprayed cylinder liners. This, says BMW, reduces weight and friction. To further lower weight (and more to the point rotating mass), the crankshaft is forged. The cylinder head, meanwhile, gets a 3D printed core to optimize cooling channels and reduce weight.

All of this is helped along by two mono-scroll turbochargers with electronically-controlled wastegates to help reduce lag. Air-to-water intercooling helps keep everything going at the right temperature. Variable valve timing and a variable camshaft also help the engine be more efficient.

Once the power is generated by all this fancy tech, it will be routed to the back wheels, via an optional 6-speed manual transmission with rev-matching technology. Praise be. An 8-speed automatic transmission is your alternative, but it weighs 50 lbs more than the manual.

All wheel drive is also an option via xDrive. Interestingly, xDrive will be available on the Competition in Summer 2021. It will feature a default rear-bias, but if you’re looking for truly stinky drifts, it can funnel all of its power to the back wheels.

Keeping everything in check when you’re driving quickly is BMW’s Adaptive M suspension with electronically controlled shock absorbers. Crossbars also stiffen the chassis front and rear.

Specific to the Ms will be a double-joint springs strut front suspension that features new aluminum wishbones, aluminum torque arm, a forged swivel bearing, and lightweight wheel bearings that have a high camber range. A 5-point rear suspension keeps things settled in the rear.

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Braking is handled by 6-piston callipers clamping down on 380 mm discs in the front, and single-piston callipers over 370 mm discs in the back. Ceramic brakes (400 mm front, 380 mm rear) will help fight fade and will get golden callipers.

Either way, you get a new integrated braking tech that alter brake feel to one of two brake feel settings.
You can pick one of two wheel sizes: 18-inches or 19. The Competition package meanwhile, is offered with either 19s or 20s.

The familiar suite of track, sport, and comfort modes is all offered as you’d expect. BMW is introducing “M Drive Professional” with the 2021 model. It gives you an “M Drift Analyzer” that record the duration, distance, line, and angle of your drifts, which is fun and definitely not incriminating.

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Exterior colors

The 2021 M3 Sedan and M4 Coupe feature two non-metallic colors, eight metallic colors (seven for M4) and two frozen matt colors to choose from.
  • Alpine White
  • Sao Paolo Yellow (new)
  • Black Sapphire Metallic
  • Brooklyn Grey Metallic (new)
  • Isle of Man Green Metallic (new)
  • Oxide Grey Metallic (new, for M3 core model only)
  • Portimao Blue Metallic
  • Toronto Red Metallic
  • Tanzanite Blue II Metallic
  • Individual Dravit Grey Metallic
  • Individual Frozen Brilliant White Metallic (new)
  • Individual Frozen Portimao Blue Metallic (new)
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Interior Upholstery and Trim

The 2021 M3 Sedan offers a choice of four standard Extended Merino Leather and four optional Full Merino Leather interiors.
  • Yas Marina Blue / Black Extended Merino Leather
  • Silverstone / Black Extended Merino Leather
  • Kyalami Orange / Black Extended Merino Leather
  • Black Extended Merino Leather
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  • Yas Marina Blue / Black Full Merino Leather
  • Silverstone / Black Full Merino Leather
  • Kyalami Orange / Black Full Merino Leather
  • Black Full merino Leather

Aluminum Tetragon interior trim is standard. Carbon Fiber trim or Individual Piano Black Finish trim are optional.

Standard Equipment

The M3 and M4 feature the following equipment as standard:
  • 473 hp / 406 lb-ft of torque engine tuning
  • 18-inch / 19-inch Orbit Grey alloy wheels with non-run-flat performance tires
  • 6-Speed manual transmission
  • M Sport rear differential
  • Adaptive M Suspension
  • M Drive modes
  • Power, heated front M Sport seats with lumbar support
  • Rear view camera
  • Ambient interior lighting
  • Anthracite headliner
  • Aluminum Tetragon interior trim
  • Park distance control
  • Automatic high beams
  • Automatic climate control
  • Dynamic cruise control
  • Shadowline exterior trim
  • Tire pressure monitor
  • Mobility tire inflator kit
  • Alarm system
  • Comfort access keyless entry
  • Auto dimming exterior and interior mirrors
  • Live Cockpit Professional with iDrive 7
  • Harman-Kardon surround sound audio
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility
  • SiriusXM with 360L and 1-year all-access subscription
  • Connected Package Pro
  • ConnectedDrive Services
  • Active Protection
    • Automatic front seat belt tensioning
    • Automatic closing of windows and moonroof
    • Fatigue and Focus Alert
    • Post-crash braking
  • Active Driving Assistant
    • Lane Departure Warning
    • Speed limit Information
    • Active Blind Spot Detection
    • Rear Cross-Traffic Alert
    • Rear Collision Preparation
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The M3 Competition and M4 Competition add the following standard equipment:
  • 503 hp / 479 lb-ft of torque engine tuning
  • 19-inch / 20-inch Bi-color Jet Black alloy wheels
  • 8-speed M Steptronic automatic transmission
  • M Seat belts
  • Extended Shadowline exterior trim

Packages and Optional Equipment

M3 / M3 Competition and M4 / M4 Competition Packages Include:
  • Parking Assistance Package
    • Parking Assistance Package Plus
    • Drive Recorder

  • Executive Package
    • Heated Steering Wheel
    • Power trunk lid
    • Icon Adaptive LED headlights with Laserlight
    • Head-Up Display
    • Wireless Charging for compatible mobile devices
    • Gesture Control
    • WiFi Hotspot with 3 GB or 3-month trial
  • Driving Assistance Professional Package (Competition models only)
    • Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go
    • Extended Traffic Jam Assistant for limited access highways
    • Active Lane Keeping Assistant
    • Active Blind Spot Protection
    • Evasion Aid
    • Front and rear cross-traffic alert
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M3 / M3 Competition and M4 / M4 Competition stand-alone options include:
  • M Drive Professional
  • 19-inch / 20-inch Bi-color Jet Black alloy wheels
    • or 19-inch / 20-inch Matt Orbit Grey alloy wheels
    • or 19-inch / 20-inch Bi-color Jet Black alloy wheels (std on Competition)
    • or 19-inch / 20-inch Jet Black alloy wheels
  • M Carbon Ceramic brakes
  • M Compound brakes with red calipers
  • M Compound brakes with black calipers
  • BMW Performance Design elements deletion
  • Individual Shadowline lights
  • Moonroof (no-cost, replaces CFRP roof with steel roof)
  • Front ventilated seats
  • M Carbon bucket seats
  • Carbon Fiber trim
  • Individual Piano Black Finish trim
  • M Carbon Exterior Package
  • Extended Shadowline exterior trim (standard on Competition models, NC on M3 / M4)
  • M Driver’s Package – Voucher for BMW driver training and increased top speed limiter of 180 mph.