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By Mark Jones

Road Test Editor

BMW’s M3 Competition Package gives you the edge

Sleeper looks, wild mechanics and acres of weight saving will thrill enthusiasts.

I am sure it is a sign of modern times whereby you have to offer your customers a multitude of choices and exclusivity combined in order to just get them to look your way when it comes to getting them to part with a big chunk of cash. Be it that, or just clever marketing to drive sales numbers, it makes no real difference to me because it means I get to drive another special BMW M car.



BMW’s M3 Sedan has always been my preferred choice, I like the practicality of the four-doors, and the flared rear wheel arches that hints at performance without giving the entire game away. The hard core enthusiasts will always opt for the traditional Coupe, but for me it is the attraction of the slightly sleeper nature of a sedan that works.

So when a M3 Sedan Competition Package arrived at the office for road testing, I was not only eager to drive this machine for a week as a family car, thanks to its everyday useability, I also wanted to get it to the Gerotek Testing facility and see what numbers would come out of my Racelogic VBOX road test equipment.

The family part has already been discussed, the Gerotek part is because this M3 now offers 331kW, which is 14kW more than standard. And this is said to get the car to 100km/h in a mere 4.0 seconds, 0.1 seconds quicker than standard, via the seven-speed M Double Clutch transmission.



Try as I did though, the test car did not quite hit the claimed numbers, in fact it was slightly slower than the standard M3 Sedan I tested a few years ago. This was also the case with the M4 Competition Pack I tested, it too was not as quick as the standard M4 Coupe I had.

Make no mistake, running a 0-100km/h time of 4.27 seconds, a ¼ mile time of 12.43 seconds, a 1km speed of 244km/h while only electronically stopping at 293km/h is by no means slow. I can only think the slight difference in the times is down to the bigger 20-inch Michelin rubber running on exclusive forged alloys causing a bit of drag, and maybe even our South Africa 95 octane pump fuel not liking the extra hike in boost.



Most owners will run some or other octane booster in a car like this when they want to play, and I believe that will bring the numbers more in line with what is expected.

Anyway, being an M car is not just about going fast in a straight line, it is actually more about dynamics, and here the Competition Package means you get an Adaptive M Suspension, which has been tuned for enhanced performance, and features new springs, dampers and anti-roll bars, along with reconfigured driving modes (Comfort, Sport and Sport+).

The standard Active M Differential on the rear axle and DSC Dynamic Stability Control have likewise been configured to match the upgraded dynamics. And this means that if you know what you are doing behind the steering wheel, the Competition Pack car will not only put a massive smile on your face every time you drive it, it will also get you around a track or over mountain pass faster than any other equivalent machine.



On the inside you are well prepared for your track attack moments because the Competition Package includes special lightweight M sports seats that combine perfect support under extremely hard driving with exceptional comfort on long journeys.

From the outside the beady eyed will notice the high-gloss Black finish that has not only been applied to the side window trim, window recess finishers and exterior mirror frames and bases, but also to the kidney grille, the side gills and the model badge on the boot. And if you pay further attention you will hear the M sports exhaust, finished with black chrome tailpipes, adding some extra bark and overrun burble to the car’s bite.



So if you have some extra cash lying around, about R1 142 800 for the car and R135 900 for the Competition Package goodies, and you want an M car that is as practical as it is dynamic as it is special, then a M3 Sedan Competition Package should be on your shopping list.

Road Test Data



Model: BMW M3 Sedan Competition Pack

Gearbox: 7 Speed M-DCT Transmission

Engine: 3.0 litre Straight Six Twin Turbo

Power: 331 kW @ 5 500 – 7 300 rpm

Torque: 550 Nm @ 1 850 – 5 500 rpm

Licensing Mass: 1 515 kg

Power to Weight: 209.241 kW / Tonne

Power to Capacity: 106.412 kW / Litre

0-100 km/h: 4.27 Seconds

¼ Mile: 12.43 Seconds @ 190.14 km/h

1 Km: 22.44 Seconds @ 244.34 km/h

60-100 km/h: 2.65 Seconds (in 3rd) / 4.07 Seconds (in 4th)

80-120 km/h: 3.58 Seconds (in 4th) / 5.02 Seconds (in 5th)

100-200 km/h: 9.11 Seconds (from 3rd)

True Top Speed: Limited to 291.15 km/h @ 6 800 rpm in 6th (Clock 295 km/h)

Fuel Consumption: 8.3 litres / 100 km Claimed (12.2 litres Test Average)

Fuel Tank Size: 60 litres

Fuel Range: 723 km Claimed (492 km on Test)

CO2 Emissions: 194 g/km

Vehicle Odometer:  15 888 Km

Test Temperature: 19 Degrees

Tyres Size: 265/30 R20 (Front) 285/30 R20 (Rear)

Tyres Make: Michelin Pilot Super Sport

Service / Maint Plan: 5 Years / 100 000 Km Maintenance Plan

Warranty: 2 Years / Unlimited Km

Test Date: 7 March 2017

Priced From: R1 278 700

For more information and latest pricing visit www.bmw.co.za

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