This is shaping up to be a banner season for BMW's 3 Series. After revealing that the early-arriving 2011 335i will benefit from both new and more fuel-efficient 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder engine and a new 335is variant will add even more performance edge, the automaker has confirmed that there's a similar bit of good news in store for the legendary M3, as well. This spring, the 2011 M3 Coupe and Sedan will be available with a new Competition Package that BMW claims will transform this already iconic offering into "the best handling production M car ever built."
Originally designed and destined only for the European market, this new Competition Package leaves the M3's 414-horsepower V8 engine untouched. Instead, it focuses on a full range of mechanical and electronic chassis tweaks. The M3's ride height gets lowered by 0.4 inches and it's fitted with a set of special 19-inch alloys wheels that feature a track-expanding wider offset. To complement those changes, the Electronic Damping Control and Dynamic Stability Control systems also have been given a more aggressive remap to further raise their enthusiast indexes. The Competition Package will add $2,500 to the sticker of the M3 Coupe and Sedan models, whose prices carry over from 2010 at $59,275 and $56,275, respectively.