Is M3 a Supercar?

The BMW M3 is the high-performing version of the popular BMW 3 series vehicle. There has been a lot of hype surrounding this car over the years, but is it fast and high-tech enough to be considered a supercar? 

If you’ve been wondering about how the M3 should be classified, stay tuned to find out all the reasons why the BMW M3 doesn’t quite live up to the ‘supercar’ label!

BMW M3 Overview

Before we get into the reasons why the BMW M3 is not a supercar, let’s take a look at an overview of the vehicle and the features it comes with. The BMW M3 has been in production since 1986 and is currently on its sixth generation. This vehicle is a little sleeker and more futuristic than other models from the same automaker, and the BMW website states that “every inch of the new BMW M3 Competition screams confidence.” 

The most recent M3 to be released is the 2021 version, which comes with two different models:

  • The BMW M3 – starting at $70,895
  • The BMW M3 Competition – starting at $73,795

The BMW M3 competition model also comes with an xDrive version, meaning it’s an all-wheel drive, as opposed to the usual rear-wheel drivetrain layout. While this vehicle claims to be higher performing than the standard BMW 3-series, the interior isn’t that different, meaning this model seems to focus on only improving the performance. 

Though there is a lot of performance-based branding associated with this BMW vehicle, it doesn’t necessarily meet the standards associated with supercars. BMW does not currently make any vehicles that could be classified as supercars, and the M3 is no exception.

What is a Supercar?

Since we’ve talked a bit about the standards associated with supercars and how the BMW M3 doesn’t measure up, let’s take a minute to go over the definition of a supercar. ‘Supercar’ is a word you’ve probably heard thrown around a lot, but a lot of auto enthusiasts don’t exactly know everything that label encompasses. 

So, what makes a car a supercar?

The truth is that there is no one true, definite description.

While there isn’t an exact definition of the term leaving some room for subjectivity, you may recognize some prime examples of supercars, such as:

  • The Ferrari 812 Superfast
  • The McLaren 720S
  • The Lamborghini Huracan

While there is no universally agreed-upon definition of a supercar, it is agreed that these vehicles are in a certain place in the spectrum of speed, price, exclusivity, and technological advancement. Supercars are extremely impressive vehicles, and not many vehicles truly deserve the classification.

The M3 Doesn’t Quite Live Up

While the BMW M3 is certainly impressive and has a lot of style, it is clear that it doesn’t quite live up to the standards that most well-known supercars do. In fact, many people don’t think the M3 is worth buying at all. This includes Motor Biscuit, who think “the BMW M3 is the worst sports car you should never buy.” While that statement might be a bit harsh, it’s true that the M3 comes with a hefty price tag without that much difference from the standard BMW 3 series.

The 2021 BMW M3 sedan comes with a 3-liter twin turbo l6 engine and either a 6-speed manual transmission or an 8-speed automatic transmission. For the standard M3 model, the engine has 473 horsepower and 406 lbs./ft of torque. The M3 Competition model is a little more powerful, with 503 horsepower and 479 lbs./ft of torque. The xDrive feature does not change the horsepower or torque capabilities of the vehicle at all. 

Rather than being classified as a supercar, this vehicle seems more like it should be referred to as a sports sedan or a luxury sports sedan. While its engine is impressive, it doesn’t quite live up to the specs of its supercar rivals. For example, the Lamborghini Huracan has 631 horsepower and 443 lbs./ft of torque, making for a sleeker and more powerful engine that can achieve great speeds in a matter of seconds. 

Has BMW Ever Made a Supercar?

We know that BMW does not currently make any supercars and the M3 is the closest it seems to get, but has BMW ever tried their hand at making a supercar? The last time BMW made a vehicle that could be classed as a supercar was from 1987 to 1981 with the BMW M1. This was the only mid-engined car ever built by BMW as well as a fairly rare vehicle. During its several year run, only 456 units were ever built, contributing to the exclusivity that is sometimes associated with supercars. 

According to Car Throttle, “BMW doesn’t have its own pièce de résistance in its line-up of cars” like so many other auto brands do. 

It doesn’t seem like BMW has many plans to release cars that are faster or more powerful than the M3, so maybe they’ve just decided that supercars are not in their wheelhouse. 

Or maybe they figured the high-performance branding of the vehicle would be enough to attract supercar enthusiasts and those who love to combine luxury quality and speed.

Wrapping it Up

Overall, the BMW M3 is an impressive luxury sports sedan, but it should not be classed as a supercar. 

This might surprise some auto enthusiasts, as this vehicle is heavily marketed on the BMW website as a faster, higher performing alternative to the extremely popular BMW 3 series. 

Despite this fact, the numbers don’t quite add up to the M3 being a supercar at the same level as a McLaren 720S or Lamborghini Huracan. 

Maybe BMW will decide to revive the old days and make a successor to the legendary M1 supercar, but it doesn’t seem like any plans for that are in the works currently. 

If you were confused about the M3’s classification due to its branding and speed, now you have all the information and reasons as to why it is not a supercar!

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