As the M4 GT3 will eventually replace the M6 GT3, perhaps the M3 has also been given a future-tense brevet, with styling and performance features that position it to in turn take a top position in BMW’s upper echelon lineup. For 2021, the M3 does indeed look decidedly more sophisticated.
And a little busy, stylistically, as BMW’s designers were clearly at pains to make the model more visually arresting. Dramatic side creases and air vents, the new-design grille with black, latitudinal lines that contrast with the patter of the air intake grilles, and more muscular body language generally applies to the M3 as well as the M4.
The extent of the design overlap between the M3 and M4 makes the M3 nearly a 4-door version of the same model. The list of similarities includes the track-oriented cooling system, the carbon fiber roof, the optional manual six-speed gearbox, the beefy brakes, a stiffer suspension, and the power ratings—the six-cylinder engine is tuned to deliver either 473 or, with the Competition option, 503 horsepower in both models. Top speed for both is 155 MPH, or 180 with the Competition package. And, like the M4, the M3 can also be optioned with the M Driver Professional suite.
Pricing for the 2021 puts the M3’s base sticker at $71K, about three thousand dollars shy of that of the M4. Look for both in dealerships in the late winter or early spring of next year.