The 2021 BMW M4 Competition hits the ground with 503 horsepower and optional AWD

The 2021 BMW M4 Competition is a higher-performance version of the second-generation M4. A successor to the old M4 Competition, this nameplate is no longer a limited-edition model, but it has been included in the lineup alongside the regular M4. BMW is pretty adopting the same strategy as Mercedes-Benz, which offers two power versions of the C 63 S Coupe. An evolutionary design of the previous model on the outside, the 2021 M4 Competition introduces a new, massive front kidney grille and a twin-turbo inline-six engine rated at an impressive 503 horsepower. Not just the most powerful M4 ever built, surpassing the old M4 GTS, the 2021 M4 Competition is also the first M4 model to feature an all-wheel-drive system.

  • 2021 BMW M4 Competition
  • Year:
    2021
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-6
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    503
  • Torque @ RPM:
    479
  • Displacement:
    3.0 L
  • 0-60 time:
    3.9 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    180 mph
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • size:
  • Purpose:
  • body style:

What makes the 2021 BMW M4 Competition special?

  • Unique trim on the outside
  • Massive front grille
  • Bigger wheels
  • Black rear spoiler
  • Race-inspired diffuser
  • Standard leather upholstery
  • Optional carbon-fiber seats
  • 503 horsepower
  • 479 pound-feet of torque
  • The most powerful M4 ever built
  • 0 to 62 mph in 3.9 seconds
  • Top speed at up to 180 mph
2021 BMW M4 Competition Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 935446

On the outside, the M4 Competition is almost identical to the standard M4, which in turn is an evolution of the old performance coupe. But even though it shares the same proportions and muscle, the new M4 comes with a few features that stand out.

First, there's a massive front grille that stretches over the entire width of the fascia.

This design feature, as useful as it is for cooling the engine, has split the BMW community. Some like it, some hate it and would kill it with fire. But no matter what your opinion is, it’s here to stay, and it’s the defining styling feature of the new-generation M4. The engine hood is also notably different because it now features two raised sections that extend from the grille, each fitted with a vent for improved cooling.

2021 BMW M4 Competition Exterior
- image 935444

The side view of the M4 Competition is again identical to the regular M4. That’s a good thing, though, as the standard M4 is already muscular enough for a sports coupe. Thankfully, the M4 Competition stands out thanks to a few unique features, starting with larger wheels that measure 19 inches in the front and 20 inches in the rear. The body-colored mirror caps on the M4 have been replaced with high-gloss black ones on the Competition model, so there’s that too.

2021 BMW M4 Competition Exterior
- image 935469
The rear of the M4 Competition is an almost identical copy of the regular M4, so it includes the same sporty, black diffuser with quad-exhaust pipes.

However, the outlets are finished in black chrome as standard, while the small spoiler atop the trunk lid is finished in black. You can opt to have the latter in body color as on the standard M4 if you don’t like the contrast. Finally, the carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic roof is painted in black as standard on the M4 Competition, but you can replace it with a steel top with a sliding and tilting sunroof at no extra cost.

BMW also offers an M Carbon exterior package for the M4 Competition. This bundle adds front air intakes, rear diffuser, exterior mirror caps, and a rear spoiler from carbon-reinforced plastic. Exterior colors are similar to the regular M4 and both versions of the M3, including the new and exclusive Sao Paulo Yellow (shown here), Toronto Red Metallic, and Isle of Man Green Metallic.

2021 BMW M4 Competition Interior
- image 935496

Similarities between the M4 and M4 Competition continue inside the cabin, with highlights such as a modern dashboard with big displays in the center stack and the instrument cluster area, a pair of newly developed M Sport seats, fine-grain Merino leather trim in a variety of colors, and impressive fit and finish and attention to detail.

The M4 Competition comes standard with three-zone automatic climate control, LED interior lighting, ambient lighting, a hi-fi audio system, and the BMW Live Cockpit Professional.

The latter is equipped with cloud-based navigation and maps, the intelligent Personal Assistant, and smartphone integration.

2021 BMW M4 Competition Interior
- image 935500

Features that set the Competition model apart are rather limited and mostly include a leather-wrapped selector lever with an embedded "M" logo and stitching in M colors and carbon-fiber inlays for the leather steering wheel and the shift paddles. But just like the M4, you can spec the M4 Competition with ventilated seats, a first for the nameplate. You can also replace the M Sport seats with carbon-fiber bucket seats with integral head restraints that can be dismantled to make room for wearing a helmet at the track.

The first BMW M4 with more than 500 horsepower

2021 BMW M4 Competition Drivetrain
- image 935508

The Competition logo makes the biggest difference under the hood. This version is also powered by the company’s already iconic 3.0-liter inline-six engine, but it generates significantly more oomph than the regular M4 thanks to a handful of updates.

Specifically, the twin-turbo mill pumps out 503 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque, an extra 30 horses and 74 pound-feet over the standard M4.
2021 BMW M4 Competition Exterior
- image 935435

It’s obviously a lot more powerful than the old M4 too, but the really impressive thing is that it trumps all M4’s from the past, including the CS and GTS. The new M4 Competition boasts an extra 50 horsepower and 36 pound-feet over the old M4 CS and ten horses more than the previous M4 GTS. All told, it’s the most powerful M4 model developed by BMW so far.

The transmission is also different for the M4 Competition. While the regular M4 is fitted with a six-speed manual as standard, much to the satisfaction of old-school fans, the M4 Competition is restricted to an eight-speed automatic transmission. It might help the M4 move quicker, but it’s a bit disappointing that BMW doesn’t offer a manual option for this version. Anyway, this dual-clutch gearbox was specifically developed for the Competition model and features bespoke ratio spacing, which, according to BMW, "is perfectly attuned to the engine’s aggressive characteristics." If you want to "row" your own, it features a manual mode through which you can shift manually by using the paddles behind the steering wheel.

2021 BMW M4 Competition Interior
- image 935506
Just like the new M3, the M4 is now available with an all-wheel-drive system.

The M4 Competition comes standard in RWD guise, but the optional xDrive will split power and torque between the front and rear axles. The new xDrive system acts fast and precisely to enhance agility at all speeds. But even though it can send a significant amount of power to the front axle, the AWD system is rear-biased most of the time, so you can still enjoy that classic BMW driving experience. When fitted with xDrive, the M4 Competition also comes with an Active M differential, with both hooked up to a Dynamic Stability Control system. The transfer case also features integrated wheel slip control for quicker reactions to changing driving situations.

In the all-wheel-drive M4 Competition models, you can also adjust how power is distributed between the front and rear wheels through the new M Traction Control function.

2021 BMW M4 Competition Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 935451

When it comes to performance, the M4 Competition sprints from 0 to 62 mph in 3.9 seconds. This benchmark is likely slower for models that aren’t equipped with the AWD system. The M4 Competition is three tenths quicker than the regular M4 in the same setup. Top speed remains locked at the usual 155 mph, but the optional BMW M Driver’s Package will raise the bar to 180 mph.

The 2021 BMW M4 Competition is here to take on the Mercedes-AMG C 63 S Coupe

2019 Mercedes-AMG C 63 Coupe
- image 776192

It’s been years since Mercedes-Benz had a big advantage in this segment through the AMG C 63 S Coupe. A two-door fitted with a twin-turbo, 4.0-liter V-8 engine rated at 503 horsepower and 516 pound-feet of torque, the C 63 S Coupe had no rival in the old BMW M4. This end now as the M4 Competition delivers just as much horsepower and lags behind by only 37 pound-feet in the torque department. It’s just as quick from 0 to 62 mph, while its top speed is a bit higher than the Merc with the optional performance package. While the C 63 S Coupe tops out at 174 mph, the M4 Competition will keep running until it hits 180 mph.

2021 BMW M4 Competition Exterior
- image 935465

Pricing information for the BMW M4 Competition, which hits showrooms in March 2021, is not yet available. However, with the current M4 priced from $69,150, the new-generation coupe could start from a little over $70,000. This means that the 2021 M4 Competition will retail from at least $78,000 before options.

Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read More
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