The Competition Pack is now an established part of the M3 (and M4) life cycle. Typically, the cost option has included a more aggressive suspension set-up and bigger wheels.
This time round however, BMW has opted to increase the power output, too: extracting a modest-sounding 19bhp more from its already fierce 3.0-litre turbocharged engine. Like the chassis, the sports exhaust is retuned to be rortier - and the alloys swell to a very pretty 20 inches.
What is the 2016 BMW M3 Competition Pack like to drive?
With the dual-clutch gearbox fitted, the Competition Pack’s 0-62mph time is fractionally improved, but it's far too narrow a development to be distinguished without a back-to-back comparison.
The improvement comes in the car’s better marshaling of its power. Where previously it was a little unruly, the Competition Pack offers a greater sense of stability, added to which, the car’s poise, responsiveness and feedback all seem enhanced by the stiffer set-up.
Best of all is that the ride quality hasn't been made overly firm in the process. Intrusions register as part and parcel of the Competition Pack’s more engaging approach, not as nasty jarring thwacks. Nowhere is this better represented than in Sport Plus mode – before this was so firm as to be applicable to the track only, but now it can easily cope with a British B-road.
What is the 2016 BMW M3 Competition Pack like inside?
The M3 is already a high-grade example of usable sportiness, and the Competition Pack doesn’t add much inside, save for a pair of lightweight sports seats. These are not of the unyielding bucket sort, but rather a spot-on compromise between comfort and supportiveness.
Legroom behind them is ample for the car’s proportions, and its boot follows suit. The Competition Pack retains the full suite of selectable driving mode buttons up front, allowing its owner to individually tailor a range of dynamic features.
Should I buy one?
In the previous generation of M3, we’d have said no: the alterations were neither significant enough nor rewarding enough to warrant the premium. This time round, the Competition Pack has delivered a both a better-rounded and more incisive M3 - and for the comparatively reasonable price hike of just £3k.
With more power, better balance and the swankiest rims, the Competition Pack ultimately deserves the popularity BMW has predicted for it among new buyers.
What Car? says...
BMW M3 Competition Pack Engine size 3.0-litre petrol Price from £59,595 Power 444bhp Torque 406lb ft 0-62mph 4.0 seconds Top speed 155mph Fuel economy 34.0mpg CO2 194g/km