It’s time for me to return to the fold of the M faithful, and I’m doing so with a 2021 G80 BMW M3. I’ll review the options I picked, and explain why I turned some things down.
My G80 BMW M3
- Portamao Blue Metallic
- Six-speed manual
- 19/20″ M Double-spoke bi-color wheels, style 825M, with performance run-flat tires
- Kyalami Orange/Black Extended Merino Leather
- Carbon Fiber trim
- M Compound brakes with Red Calipers
- Front-ventilated seats
Taking a test drive in the G80 BMW M3
I was able to test drive a manual G82 M4 (the M3 was already sold). From the driver’s seat, the car felt like…an M car. Overall, the car’s interior is an enormous improvement over its predecessor, and the quality of the materials shows very well. The standard seats are a cross between a current F90’s and previous F80, perfect for my 6’1 frame.
The steering is lighter then I’d like, but turn-in response is immediate, and sport mode ups the effort to a comfortable degree. Though I did not stomp on the throttle (not yet broken in), I could tell the car had the typical immediate throttle response that an M car needs.
The transmission felt exactly like every manual BMW from the past 10 years. Throws are shorter than in my E92 and felt great overall. Rev-matched downshifting was disconcerting for me, so I turned it off promptly.
I’ll have a more in-depth driving review in a future post.
Options I picked for my G80 BMW M3
If you know me, you know my affinity for blue BMWs, and I could not resist Portamao Blue Metallic, even if it’s not an exclusive M color.
Kyalami Orange makes a great combo with blue, and this car pays homage to my original E92 M3. Isle of Man Green Metallic was a very close second option.
The 825 double-spoke style wheels were my preference over the base 18-inch wheels or Comp style 826. I don’t like black wheels, as they tend to make the car look like it’s floating. Wheels offer intricate details, and should stand out. Red Calipers (vs black or silver) complete the attention-getting look.
On the inside, the basic Hexagon trim is nice enough, but available on the basic 3 Series. The gloss Carbon Fiber trim looks great and ties the exterior roof in nicely. I often get hot, so ventilated front seats seemed reasonable as a stand-alone option.
This M3 comes with much more standard equipment than any previous M3 before it, so it’s a pretty good deal considering.
Options I did not
As my original review stated, I doubt you’ll be able to get any new BMW with a manual transmission for much longer. 473 horses is still an enormous amount of power, so I doubt I’ll miss the Competition Package. I will never use all the power this car has to offer unless I’m on a track. The car did seem to lack a little personality compared to previous M cars (it was a short test), so for me, the stick was it.
If I’m being honest, I could never tell the difference between a basic E92 vs a ZCP-equipped one like I had. Maybe that’s changed for the G80, but it wasn’t worth it for the automatic trans penalty.
Carbon ceramic brakes are simply a pricey option, and one that you’ll never utilize unless you track the car.
Interior trim options aside from Carbon Fiber are an Aluminum Mesh (ugly), Piano Black (scratches easily), and a wood (wood does not belong on an M car).
I’ve spoken about the seats at length. It’s a no for me, but if you fit in them, they are beautiful.
Two options I didn’t like were the Extended Shadowline Trim and the Executive Package. If I could, I’d kill all the Shadowline along the bottom of the car, as I want as much body color as possible. Ditto for the Shadowline headlight option.
The Executive Package gives you:
- A Head-up Display
- Gesture Control
- Laser headlights
- Wireless charging
- Remote start (on Comp models)
- Heated steering wheel
- Power Tailgate
Some of that would be nice, like the headlights, but not all. I can’t even see the HUD in my 335 with polarized sunglasses. I wear driving gloves, so a heated wheel doesn’t matter. A power tailgate on a sedan doesn’t serve much purpose.
The Parking Assistance Package gives you a drive recorder, which is useful, and an autonomous parking feature, which is not. I left it off.
It’s my daily
No more garage queen status for my M cars. The G80 is very comfortable to drive, so I can’t see the point of stuffing it under the covers for extended periods of time.
10 weeks to go
The wait begins for a delivery sometime in mid-May 2021.
In the meantime, my 335i will be going up for sale soon.
Special thanks to Circle BMW in Eatontown NJ, for what was the easiest buying process I’ve ever had buying any BMW.
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