With a captivating front end and a robust turbocharged V6, the BMW M3 isn’t what you’d expect from a conventional sports sedan. Whether on the track or cruising streets, the M3 delivers explosive acceleration, athletic handling, and speeds that almost put supercars to shame—all without compromising daily drivability.
According to tests by Edmunds, the standard 2021 BMW M3 can excel from zero to 60 mph in just 4.1 seconds, while the Competition M3 can blast from zero to 60 in just 3.8 seconds. The standard M3 can also finish the quarter-mile in 12.3 seconds and reach 100 mph in 9 seconds.
Keep in mind that these numbers are for rear-wheel drive models. All-wheel drive wasn’t an option in 2021, but the Competition M3 features optional all-wheel drive as of 2022.
Which BMW M3 engine is the fastest?
When it comes to unlocking supersonic speeds, in most cases, an engine upgrade is needed. This is true for the 2021 BMW M3.
When buying the M3 new, BMW offered a twin-turbo 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine with 473 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque, paired with a six-speed manual transmission. Alternatively, drivers could opt for a more powerful 3.0-liter six-cylinder with 503 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque, paired with an eight-speed automatic.
Although squealing to 60 mph in around 4 seconds is impressive, the acceleration times of the 2021 BMW M3’s competitors are even better. Let’s take a closer look.
Can it beat the competition?
The 2021 BMW M3 may not be the fastest BMW in the automaker’s lineup, but it’s not the pokiest either. Regardless, when it comes to taking on its biggest competitors, the M3 doesn’t exactly fare well.
Here are the zero-to-60 times of some of the M3’s biggest rivals in the luxury sports sedan class:
While the M3 may have some power behind the wheel, it’s pretty clear that neither trim can keep up with the top competitors in the luxury sports sedan class.
But the M3 does have one thing going for it: cost. For nearly all supercars with a zero to 60 under 3 seconds, you’ll be shelling out big money to get behind the wheel—we’re talking well over $100,000.
So, if you have your heart set on being a speed demon on the road and are willing to hand over the money that comes with it, one of the other options might be up your alley. However, if you’re willing to compromise on some of the speed without compromising driving dynamics, style, and comfort, the 2021 BMW M3 Competition could do the trick—and it starts at a relatively affordable $73,795.
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