BMW unveils 2021 M3 and M4 packing up to 503 horsepower

BMW has pulled the wraps off the new generation of M3 and M4 performance cars for 2021. The core M3 and M4 models feature 473 horsepower while the Competition versions offer 503 horsepower. Pricing starts at $69,900 for the M3 and $71,800 for the M4, plus $995 destination fee. Starting next summer Competition models will be available with M xDrive.

Availability for the M3 and M4 starts in March 2021. Engines in both models will be 3.0-Liter in-line-cylinder BMW TwinPower turbo S58 engines paired with a six-speed manual or automatic. BMW says it will offer four models and a global launch including the rear-wheel-drive manual-transmission M3 and M4, and the automatic transmission M3 Competition and M4 Competition.

BMW notes that the new M vehicles have 40 horsepower more than the previous generation and the Competition models offer 59 horsepower and 73 pounds-feet of additional torque compared to previous versions. The standard M3 and M4 offer 473 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque with acceleration from 0 to 60 mph in 4.1 seconds. Top speed is limited to 155 mph or 180 mph with the M Driver's Package.

Competition models produce 503 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque, with acceleration to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds. Top speeds for Competition models are the same. The engines use a forged, lightweight crankshaft and optimized cylinder head design. The twin turbos are mono-scroll units with electronically controlled wastegates and air-to-water intercooling. The automatic transmission used on both vehicles is an eight-speed M Steptronic.

The manual transmission cars feature Gear Shift Assist improving directional stability during performance driving by matching engine revs with downshifts. The feature can be turned off in the iDrive menu. BMW knows that the manual transmission shaves 50 pounds of weight compared to the automatic versions. The all-wheel-drive M xDrive urgent promise additional traction for improved acceleration. The chassis and handling have also been refined on the new models.