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How much? £56,590
On sale in the UK: Now
Engine: 3999cc 32v V8, 414bhp @ 8300rpm, 295lb ft @ 3900rpm
Transmission: Seven-speed manual, rear-wheel drive
Performance: 4.6sec 0-62mph, 155mph, 25.2mpg, 263g/km CO2
How heavy / made of? 1655kg/steel
How big (length/width/height in mm)? 4615/1804/1414
Need to know

CAR's rating

Rated 5 out of 55


Rated 5 out of 55


Rated 5 out of 55


Rated 3 out of 53

Feelgood factor

Rated 5 out of 55

Readers' rating

Rated 3 out of 53

BMW M3 Competition Package (2010) CAR review

By Ben Pulman

First Drives

01 September 2010 11:15

The BMW M3 GTS might have been stealing all the headlines recently, but there’s another new M3 around too, the Competition Package-equipped Coupe. Introduced as an option as part of a recent mid-life update, it offers a performance-focussed pack for those who want their E92 M3 to feel a bit more CS, CSL and GTS.

But while the Comp Pack is an option, stop/start tech is now standard, the first time BMW has fitted the system to an engine with more than four cylinders and with anything other than a six-speed manual. Read on for CAR’s review of the new BMW M3 Competition Pack.

Let’s leave the BMW M3’s new Competition Package until last – what else is new?

The visual mid-life nip ‘n’ tuck has been limited to a set of new LED rear lights, which sharpen up the BMW’s back and make the whole car appear sleeker. Beyond that there aren’t any other changes to spot – all M3s, whether Coupe, Convertible or saloon, haven’t been privy to the regular 3-series Coupe and Convertible’s revised nose. Not that we’re complaining, as the new white lights are a bit too in-your-face Audi for our liking. All of which means the M3 Coupe looks as good as ever, with the de rigueur deeper front and rear bumpers, signature quad exhausts and more aerodynamics mirrors, plus the carbonfibre roof and the ‘power dome’ bonnet to help differentiate this M car from lesser BMWs.

Inside it’s the same as before as well, the M3 Coupe having picked up the latest iDrive system when the M3 saloon was launched. It’s not a stunning sight, but everything just works. Like the cup holders, which pop out of the dash ahead of the passenger, still within reach of the driver but also freeing up space on the transmission tunnel. Or the row of eight programmable buttons, which flash up their memorised function if you brush your finger over them. It’s all good quality stuff, and while you can tell most of it is identical to what you can find in a £25k 3-series saloon, the (optional) carbonfibre-look leather, fat M Division wheel and seats, and the view out over the bulging bonnet let you know you’re in something special.

What about this new stop/start system?

Or start-stop, as BMW would have us call it. It’s now standard on all M3s, whether you opt for the six-speed manual or seven-speed dual-clutch ‘box. Our car is fitted with the latter, dubbed M-DCT, and the promise is a reduction from 285 to 263g/km CO2, while the fuel consumption figure is bumped from 23.7 to 25.2mpg.

And does it work? Yes, and brilliantly. There are many, many stop/start-equipped cars available that just never do what they should, because their operating margins are so slim – only Mini, BMW and Porsche’s tech seems to work consistently. And in the M3, nine out of ten times the big V8 cuts out at a standstill. You need to be using the auto mode, and when you come to a halt you just keep your foot on the brake, press a little harder than you ordinarily would, and suddenly you’re greeted with silence. Even with the air-con full on and lights ablaze our car’s stop/start system consistently worked – only a long stint in traffic eventually drained the battery and left the engine running. The only downside is that you need to keep your foot on the brake; shift to neutral and the engine restarts.

>> Click 'Next' below to read more of our BMW M3 Competition Package CAR first drive


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BMW M3 Competition Package (2010) CAR review


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peyt says

RE: BMW M3 Competition Package (2010) CAR review

great car . pity its got the run flat tyres that cost a small fortune to replace!!

02 September 2010 06:27



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car4mh says

RE: BMW M3 Competition Package (2010) CAR review

I like this M3, although I love the E46 more than the current Munich Mustang V8.  It is admirable that they have recognised the need to enhance the M3's package for competition, even if only with its rivals on the road.   Although I fear that to unimpressed motorists a rampant M3 driver will still be judged to be compensating for a lack of package on a personal level.  

I agree with JohnnyD and Ray_A, this particular generation of M3 didn't make a great first impression on most reviewers but has grown into greater acclaim over its production run.  Perhaps BMW's shift to niche-filling and burnishing its eco-friendly credentials have made us appreciate an M-badged performance car relatively free of the JOY-lessness BMW has been guilty of recently.  Or, as mentioned, perhaps it's the absence of a true RS4 replacement?

02 September 2010 05:47



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comment8 says

RE: BMW M3 Competition Package (2010) CAR review

Anthony ffC leaves his X1 SS permanently off  (" a failure of engineering design" CAR Sept.) and your SS equipped long term Mini Cooper returned poor fuel consumption - CAR claiming rather bizzarely that this was the result of it not having been driven in the city. I would venture that SS remains more state of the art marketing than state of the art technology if this is the best the industry has to offer.

02 September 2010 04:58



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Ray_A says

RE: BMW M3 Competition Package (2010) CAR review

Brilliant car; great all-rounder, albeit with scary mpg (I know someone who has one). The exterior is beefed up brilliantly over the effete and slightly bland standard coupé, but.....the interior is turgid. This comes from a time when BMW really lost the plot in its interior design (the last 5 was just as bad, and the 7? Hideous, like the exterior). Luckily, they seem to have rediscovered the ability to design an attractive and desirable interior, which bodes well for the next gen 3.


Would I have one? I prefer the looks, sound, and excitement of the last Audi RS4. For me, the shadow still looms!

01 September 2010 23:12



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JohnnyD says

RE: BMW M3 Competition Package (2010) CAR review

Is it me or was there an air of anti-climax when the current M3 first appeared, what with the shadow of the RS4 still looming? Now though this M3 is fast becoming a modern classic. A bit like the E46, E36 & E30 I suppose!!

01 September 2010 13:06

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