2024 BMW M3 Competition: Test Drive Experience with M Performance Exhaust

The latest BMW M3, like its predecessors, stirs up quite a buzz. Despite two production years, some fans still debate its aesthetics. However, others argue that its impressive stats and driving experience outweigh any visual shortcomings. Interestingly, a unique group even finds the car beautiful.

The G80 M3 also features the ZF eight-speed transmission, standard in various BMWs and other cars. This transmission variant powers multiple vehicles, from the Rolls Royce Ghost to the Ram 1500 TRX. If you haven’t heard, it’s for a good reason: the transmission is outstanding.

The G80 M3’s automatic-tuned configuration is equally impressive. In auto mode, it surpasses older dual-clutch systems in drivability. It prioritizes fuel efficiency and shifts seamlessly in the least sporty modes. It’s not undetectable like in the new BMW 7 Series, but it won’t upset a passenger or a coffee in the holder. This might be a side effect of the M3-specific tuning.

When the drive gets spirited, the ZF8 is a pleasure to use. In aggressive modes, each gear shift is noticeably firm, unlike the smooth transitions in Comfort settings. You experience swift upshifts and downshifts. Unlike other BMWs, there’s no delayed downshift sensation. It holds gears effectively in automatic mode until a solid contrary signal is given.

Manuals are becoming scarce, so enjoy them while you can. However, the automatic offers superior performance, making busy highways more tolerable. The manual M3 is $4,300 cheaper than the auto-only M3 Competition. It’s up to you to determine if the better performance warrants the higher price. The good news? Either choice is a win.

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