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      04-28-2021, 11:59 PM   #1
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A month with the G80 M3 Competition (vs the RS5)

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I grew up loving the M3, the E46 being my dream car. It still is. However, I spent a good portion of 2020 livid at BMW for ruining my favorite car – obnoxious grills, ridiculous amounts of sharp edges and those tacky fake side vents. When I initially bought my RS5 in early 2020, I wanted to try something different. But I felt like I had broken my long-kept allegiance with the ///M brand. There was always this hint of guilt lurking somewhere behind, especially every time I saw the RS5 parked right under the giant ///M flag I had so proudly adorned over my garage door. However, with the crazy direction BMW took with its design language, I started feeling good about the Audi – it was safe, stable, and unsuspectingly fast – no drama whatsoever.

Then on a fateful Saturday about a month ago, I was bored and decided to kill time trying out the new M3. “Let’s take a look at how much air those nostrils can breathe in,” I joked with my wife on my way to the dealership. I pulled over my RS5 and there it was, parked front and center, an M3 Competition. It took all of 5 seconds to realize just how gorgeous this car looks in person, and just as quickly, I also realized what this car has what the RS5 simply did not – drama.

Say what you will about the grill, it is not there to look pretty. It does not even try to. This car’s entire jam is theatre. Eye-popping colors, angled headlights, sharp edges, fire-breathing nostrils, over accentuated and very pronounced splitter, side skirts, diffuser, and rear arches … and let me stress that again, it is really not there to look pretty, the whole damn thing is an event, a pantomime! We wanted a car that James Bond would drive, but BMW gave us one that Duke Nukem would, you know, the kind that you drive when you want to kick ass and chew bubble gum? And that I think is pure badassery. *SLOW CLAP FOR BMW*

And that intention shows everywhere. Let us start with the interior. Audis have amazing interiors, and I thought no different of my RS5. It was pretty, with thsse horizontal lines running across the entire dash. It was seamless. It was perfect, almost clinical. All that is a good thing, right? Yes… until you hop inside the M3, esp. one with the carbon pack with those insane bucket seats. It immediately makes “perfect” and “clinical” sound boring. While the RS5 felt like it was carefully crafted by engineers using their precise rulers, the M3’s interior feels like it was molded with play dough, by 5-year-olds with only one thing in mind – making you feel like a 5-year-old as well. It wraps around you, even the instrument cluster is angled up perfectly so that no matter where you sit, the steering wheel never blocks it. The gauges are crazy, too. Even though I do prefer the classic round dials, I understand why it is the way it is. The bucket seats look aggressive, they yell at you, “Hey look, this is a serious bit of kit this car!” But for some reason, it does not feel over-the-top in this car. I am 5’8” 165 lbs. I have the side bolsters at their widest setting, and I just about fit. “But what about the taller, larger, wider folks,” you ask? Zero F’s given. One could literally imagine designers at BMW replying, “Do people taller than 6 feet fit into a Formula 1 car? Nope. So, deal with it.” And I love it! It almost feels like they got tired of trying to please everyone and finally built the car they really wanted to build!

The story continues in the performance department. Like I said before, the Audi felt safe and stable even though it was ridiculously fast. When you smashed the throttle, it happily obliged, safely pushing your head back to the seat. But you were always left missing something, yearning back for something more. I finally figured out what that was when I got into this M3. And yet again, it is that drama! The RS5 felt like a regular human that had a secret superpower of going fast, and it tried its best to hide that superpower. It wanted to be safe and stable. It felt most at home in comfort mode but was occasionally happy to take you on thrill rides. The M3 on the other hand feels most at home when it is revving hard, turning fast, and making crazy exhaust noises. You try to drive it slowly and the gearbox gets all moody on you. It wants to go, all the time. You feel like the car mocks you every time you press anything that reads “comfort.” It’s edgier, stiffer, sharper and way faster! If the RS5 was a wolf in sheep’s clothing, the M3 is a wolf, forget any clothing to disguise anything – it is a wolf and wants to be a wolf, all the freaking time! I had the F82 M4 and it gave me sort of a similar feeling. But it also wanted to kill me all the time, esp. when it was wet. The G80 has grip for days. You must push hard to get the tail out. It will happily do it, but you will have to really tell it that you want it to do it. Even then, you always feel in control. But regardless of how you drive it, you just cannot stop smiling in this car. I have gone from the 2015 M4 to 2018 C63S to 2015 M6 to 2019 RS5 on to this one. And this is the best of one of the lot, by a VERY LONG WAY!

Many years ago, I wrote a review of my M235i. That review did fairly well and made it to the front page of Bimmerpost. I compared that car to my one-year-old German Shepherd, saying how raw and puppy-like it was. My guy is 8 years old now, but I think it is still fitting to make that comparison – he is loyal and sweet, but should you underestimate him, he is 100 pounds pure mischief raring to go! And that is exactly what this car is!

Say whatever you may about the design, I think BMW wanted this car to stand out in every aspect – looks, luxury, technology, and performance – and in that sense, I think they have knocked it out of the park! So, if you are one of those sitting and complaining about the grill, I hear you, I have been there. But just do yourself a favor and take one for a spin. I cannot guarantee that you will change your mind, but I will promise you that you will have one hell of a test drive… and maybe you will get the philosophy behind what this car wants to be. I did, so much so, that I bought it in the brightest color out of any car I have ever owned – Toronto Red. I think it fits this gem of a hooligan pretty well.

Cheers and thank you for reading. Hope you enjoy the dynamic shades of Toronto Red under various lighting conditions.









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      04-29-2021, 12:32 AM   #2
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Thanks for the perspective coming from some very quality builds

Havenít seen many in TR and the pics look great! Most Iíve seen before show the color in bright lighting and it can come across as almost orange. These give a much more complete picture. Excited to see one in person, congrats
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      04-29-2021, 12:38 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by filostrato View Post
Thanks for the perspective coming from some very quality builds

Haven’t seen many in TR and the pics look great! Most I’ve seen before show the color in bright lighting and it can come across as almost orange. These give a much more complete picture. Excited to see one in person, congrats
Thanks! Yes, TR I've learned so far is very dynamic. It has an orange hue in direct sunlight (you can probably see a hint of this in one of the pictures). It looks a lot like Shakir Orange in diffused light on overcast days. And it looks very deep red indoors under florescent lights. At least those are the ones I've noticed look distinctly different.
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      04-29-2021, 12:56 AM   #4
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Thanks for sharing your impressions OP. One thing I have learned over the years with BMW is that a car is always the sum of its parts. On paper, it might seem over designed, too heavy and tamed but once you unleash the beast, you understand that short of GT Porsche, there is a reason why BMW M has always been the most successful sub-brand on the market. Short of calling it the holy grail, it is simply put, a driver's car.
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      04-29-2021, 01:22 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CanuckM View Post
Thanks for sharing your impressions OP. One thing I have learned over the years with BMW is that a car is always the sum of its parts. On paper, it might seem over designed, too heavy and tamed but once you unleash the beast, you understand that short of GT Porsche, there is a reason why BMW M has always been the most successful sub-brand on the market. Short of calling it the holy grail, it is simply put, a driver's car.
I wholeheartedly agree
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      04-29-2021, 02:05 AM   #6
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Great review, and congratulations! BMW Seattle has sold lots of G8x cars with those demos. Like you, I made the trek in pure window shopper mode and ended up buying at the first opportunity (6MT in my case). I loved the much improved drive of my M2C over the F80/82, then realized after a vigorous G82 6MT test drive that I can have that and more and get all the goodies back (HUD, great interior, bigger fuel tank, big-coupe street presence, etc). Truly a complete package.
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      04-29-2021, 02:46 AM   #7
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Great write-up on your review and congrats on your new ride. Love the color!
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      04-29-2021, 04:46 AM   #8
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Excellent words about the fully intoxicating intent of the new M3. Well spoken & fully agree with the sentiment.
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      04-29-2021, 06:58 AM   #9
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I love the Toronto Red. If I had managed to get an actual allocation instead of picking up an HEA car, it would have been TR. I don't actually regret it as the IOMG has won my heart over the last month and a half with it, but TR also would have been fantastic.
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      04-29-2021, 07:41 AM   #10
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Great photographs and review OP. As much as I like IOMG, I've been so smitten with my TR X3MC that I feel even though it's a little boring to get the same color back to back that I may spec that out when it's time to upgrade to an M3. It really does look stunning on this car.
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      04-29-2021, 08:45 AM   #11
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And a slow clap for you, good sir. Well done!
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      04-29-2021, 09:50 AM   #12
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I genuinely enjoyed that write-up.... beautiful car!
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      04-29-2021, 11:04 AM   #13
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nice write up. also great pics
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      04-29-2021, 11:18 AM   #14
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Same thing happened to me, but in my S5 Sportback. Went in on a Saturday to test drive it and fell in love with it.

BMW Seattle? I am getting my Black Sapphire tomorrow or Saturday!
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      04-29-2021, 11:20 AM   #15
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Great writeup. Really starting to get the itch to get one.
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      04-29-2021, 11:43 AM   #16
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Great review, my first dream car and eventual M car was a 2005 E46 M3- what a raw beast those were.

I do wonder if a lot of the criticism of the front grill is a bunch of "me too" commentary. Controversial isn't always bad, and for that reason I have learned to reserve judgement on car designs until I see them in the flesh. Our eyes need weeks to months to acclimate to change and to even decide if they are truly better.

I personally think this is a great last hoorah for naturally aspirated BMW's, with a radical design to match.

PS those first two pics are killer- the first time I have truly appreciated TR.
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      04-29-2021, 12:03 PM   #17
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Love the review. I love my RS5, it suits me very well and fits all my needs being a sportback, it also looks incredible and I'm surprised it still turns heads seeing as it's an older design, but I hope I can get into a G80 in a few years, it's such an amazing all round car and has what the RS models don't - excitement! Enjoy.
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      04-29-2021, 12:18 PM   #18
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Nice write up and great car!
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      04-29-2021, 02:25 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bri1042 View Post
I love the Toronto Red. If I had managed to get an actual allocation instead of picking up an HEA car, it would have been TR. I don't actually regret it as the IOMG has won my heart over the last month and a half with it, but TR also would have been fantastic.
IOMG also looks stunning in person. Way more than pictures do justice.
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      04-29-2021, 02:26 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mirob View Post
And a slow clap for you, good sir. Well done!
Quote:
Originally Posted by heavyD^2 View Post
Great photographs and review OP. As much as I like IOMG, I've been so smitten with my TR X3MC that I feel even though it's a little boring to get the same color back to back that I may spec that out when it's time to upgrade to an M3. It really does look stunning on this car.
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Originally Posted by OF Hero View Post
I genuinely enjoyed that write-up.... beautiful car!
Quote:
Originally Posted by GOLFFRR View Post
nice write up. also great pics
Thank you!

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Originally Posted by Salespunk View Post
Great writeup. Really starting to get the itch to get one.
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Originally Posted by KnightedBMW View Post
Nice write up and great car!
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      04-29-2021, 02:27 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jcali86 View Post
Love the review. I love my RS5, it suits me very well and fits all my needs being a sportback, it also looks incredible and I'm surprised it still turns heads seeing as it's an older design, but I hope I can get into a G80 in a few years, it's such an amazing all round car and has what the RS models don't - excitement! Enjoy.
Your RS5 looks sick! Mine was glacier white and I think most people thought it was just an A5 .. haha
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      04-29-2021, 02:29 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BSM_G808 View Post
BMW Seattle? I am getting my Black Sapphire tomorrow or Saturday!
Yes. Nice, congrats! Post pictures!
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