As Victoria Police continue the transition away from Holdens and Fords that previously filled their fleets, the state’s Highway Patrol unit are currently trialling a high-performance BMW M3 Competition sedan.
Reflecting Vic Pol’s growing taste for BMWs, the evaluation of an M3 Competition follows the trial of an M5 Competition back in 2019, while 530d sedans have been part of the state’s Highway Patrol fleet since 2018. NSW Police are also using the 530d for highway patrol work.
The latest generation M3, which made its global premiere in 2020 and reached Australia in 2021, is powered by the ‘M TwinPower Turbo’ turbocharged 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine. In the standard M3, this produces 353kW and 550Nm maximums, but in the M3 Competition this increases to 375kW and 650Nm. The M3 Competition also swaps the standard six-speed manual transmission for an optional eight-speed ‘M Steptronic’ automatic with Drivelogic shift control.
The drivetrain upgrade improves the 0-100km/h time from 4.1 seconds to 3.9 seconds, and while the M3 Competition has recently added an xDrive all-wheel drive variant, the unit on loan to Vic Pol is rear-wheel drive.
Other elements of the M3 Competition’s specs include carbon fibre paddle shifters, smartphone-based remote starting, premium leather interior trim and the Driving Assistant Professional package that includes Active Cruise Control with Stop and Go function, Cross Traffic Warning front and rear, Steering and Lane Control Assistant, Lane Keeping Assistant with Side Collision Warning, Crossroads Warning and Evasion Aid.
The M3 Competition is also equipped with the Parking Assistant Plus surround view camera system, Front Collision Warning, Lane Departure Warning and Speed Limit Info road sign detection safety technologies.
Amongst the standard M goodies on this car, the 10-stage M traction control and adaptive M suspension, would benefit police work, but the M track mode, lap timer and M Drift Analyser would be unlikely to have applications in the field!
The length of Vic Pol’s evaluation and assessment of the M3 Competition is unknown (BMW Australia says it will only be for a “temporary period”), but if it’s chosen to equip the state’s Highway Patrol fleet in the future, it’ll represent a substantial taxpayer investment, as the latest M3 is priced from $144,900, with the M3 Competition starting at $154,900 before options and on-road costs are added.