For the first time in its history, the M3 has a front-end look distinct from the 3 Series it's based upon - which ends a 35 year tradition with this model line. Instead, this car gets the latest 4 Series look, which sees a large vertical grille featuring seven double horizontal louvres and a front number plate mounting point. This appendage differs from that on the 4 Series by being two separate elements, rather than a single frame design.
This is a slightly bigger car than before, 108mm longer, 26mm wider and 8mm higher. The classy carbon fibre-reinforced plastic roof is carried over, with two lengthwise 'rails' that optimise airflow back to the boot-mounted spoiler and the multi-channel rear diffuser, which incorporates a pair of chrome tailpipes on either side.
Inside, there are newly developed M Sport seats which can now be cooled. There are M-specific graphics for the bigger head-up display. If you're wanting this M3 Competition, then rear seat space is possibly quite important to you because otherwise you'd probably have chosen the alternative M4 coupe version of this car. In the back, there's certainly more room to stretch out than was the case with the previous 'F80'-generation M3 model, the distance between the front and rear seats having been extended by 11mm. There's slightly more headroom than before too and BMW says that this cabin's now wide enough to take three child seats side by side, though only the two outside positions come with Isofix attachment points. Out back, there's a 480 litre boot.