On paper, ns attractive Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio and the new, funky-looking 2021 BMW M3 Competition space spun from the same bolt des carbon-weave cloth. Both cars room rear-wheel-drive, front-engine members of the compact high-end sedan segment. Each boasts a twin-turbo six-cylinder engine displacing around 3.0 liters. Ns Alfa und BWM share the same ZF-sourced eight-speed automatic transmission and nearly identical energie outputs nur a tick beyond ns 500-hp mark.

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Pricing—both starting and as tested—parallel each other, together well. BMW calls for $73,795 for the basest von the base M3 Comp, while Alfa demands $76,095 zu get dinge started v its arrabbiata Quad. Ours test-car examples sit hinweisen a hefty $93,945 zum the Italian und $97,645 zum the glowing yellow German, so ignite your checkbook if you want kommen sie re-create ours pairing.

This comparison test ist a meeting des technical equates to with only a couple of minor exceptions, at least if you limit your afternoon analysis exclusively kommen sie our spec charts that follow bei this piece. Bei practice und on die charge, die 2021 BMW M3 Competition and 2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio couldn"t be an ext dramatically different in terms von their ethos.

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A portion des this regarded imbalance is objective. Prior to we even schutz a gelegenheit to weigh die sensory und tactile differences betwee the M3 und the Quadrifoglio, die BMW gaps the Alfa ~ above our prüfung track through tires ablaze und ass akimbo. Bei Competition form, ns M3"s 502-hp engine—and die M4"s von extension—is just short von the 505-hp Alfa. However it spreads bei extra 36 lb-ft of torque on its rear Michelin Pilot sports 4S tires like cold butter on toast.

The 2 supersedans were dead even off the line, right up to ns 50-mph markierung where ns BMW pulled ahead von 0.1 second, und then von 0.2 second hinweisen 60 mph. Die Alfa take it 3.7 seconds kommen sie cross the magic 60-mph mark, while die M3 nudged ahead punkt 3.5 seconds. The Giulia continued zu wilt under die M3 Comp"s torque-tastic hammer, with die BMW declare a 0-100-mph scramble an just 7.5 seconds, bettering ns Alfa"s quick-but-not-quick-enough 8.3-second run. Ns 2021 BMW M3 Competition demands 11.6 seconds to conquer die quarter mile weist 125.6 mph, a 0.3-second and 5.5-mph benefit over the red Alfa.

Big power and big power meet big rock country: Tired von our usual automobile stomping grounds, us put the full extent des these sedans" trans-county capabilities zu good usage escaping die gravitational tug von the greater Los angeles metroplex. Weil das two days, ns slash von jagged festland bordering death Valley and the Inyo national Forest was our playpen. Ns locales readily available secluded hill passes the wiggled past campgrounds, und grit-washed desert highways that speared unbroken into ns horizon.

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Between L.A. Und this delicious wasteland ist a stretch of semi-populated California highway that"s ideal endured fairly than enjoyed, no matte how quick ns car or daring die driver. A perfect opportunity kommen sie futz and fiddle with die interior accoutrement and baseline roadway manners. This was one des the most vital parts des the test, considering these space supposed kommen sie be the do-it-all multi-tools von the performance-car pie.

Just a couple of miles from ours office bei El Segundo, ns M3 Competition already proved chin a bit of a bummer. Prüfen co-driver and features editor Scott Evans quickly uncovered the new 2021 M3"s hyper-aggressive seats sadistic, that is user user interface frustrating, und its infotainment Kafkaesque.

"These might be die least comfortable seat I"ve ever before experienced an a manufacturing car, und I encompass every monitor seat and carbon-fiber bucket I"ve ever sat in," he snipped. "If you plan to do a last of track time with this car, perhaps go ahead und get this seats, but only if sie plan kommen sie make that a permanent track automobile or sie are willing zu buy a 2nd set of normalerweise seats weil das all die other mal you might want zu drive it."

Your ass won"t be ns only point stunned numb von the 2021 BMW M3 Competition. wie man viewed directly from ns front—an inadvisable activity zum which us recommend attract solar-eclipse glasses—the neu M3 vain is in astoundingly ugly car. Do sie like its dorky buck teeth? Those gawping nostrils locked an a perma-sniff posture? You"re weird. Don"t even write kommen sie tell us freundin think we"re wrong; we"ll nur laugh und tape your letter to the grille von the following G80-series M3 us find so we don"t have to look at it bei its totality.

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This car aussehen very much like who styled a normalerweise BMW 3 native 10,000 feet down in the ocean, climate shot the to die surface whereby it promptly decompressed choose some sort of automotive blobfish. In our 14.7-psi sea-level world, that type von weird nur doesn"t work, and no, it hasn"t boosted with time since we zuerst saw it. This styling zu sein not farming on us deshalb much together it ist haunting ours night terrors.

In contrast, ns pretty-ish 2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio zu sein a veritable understand class bei design when lined up against the German.

"I briefly considered running the M3 into die Alfa in hopes that some des the Giulia"s beauty would rub off on it, only zu dismiss die idea under die rightful fear des achieving the exact opposite," Evans stated after his highway stint in the BMW.

Much of our BMW complaining subsided after we slipped off ns highway and planned our charge up ns side von Mt. Whitney. Bei many ways, the neu G80-generation—G80? Gee, ugly—M3 compete feels like a tight-lipped half-apology for the rather brutish F80 M3/F82 M4 cars it replaced. Ours complaints with ns prior automobile were numerous: steering that was both cinder-block heavy und alarmingly vague, a dual-clutch transmission with chalky operation, a bind-prone rear-axle, the S55 3.0-liter engine the sounded favor a brass can of rich, schnitzel-fed farts. And crucially, it delivered too much power down low, with a greasy rear end that hopped, skipped, and smoked also with careful inputs when you gott beyond moderate throttle.

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Naturally, ns Munich Maniacs figured more stärke was die solution, so the 2021 BMW M3 ausblüten vapes die rear rubbers like flash file with in absolute ripper of bei engine. The neu S58 twin-turbo inline-six proves that while BMW pivots towards electrification, it ausblüten has the internal burning know-how. The 503-hp rating zu sein merely a suggestion; it have to make that much at ns wheels, since this 3.0-liter pulls favor something closer to 550 hp. It both feels and sounds extraordinarily power-dense, choose a sheet blower hoovering trost a pile des honed titanium wind chimes.

The Alfa"s 2.9-liter Ferrari/Maserati-sourced twin-turbo V-6 feels every bit von its 505 hp und 443 lb-ft—no more, no less. The initial syrup-thick charge tapers off soon after you cross die upper end of highway speeds, while returning a muted, fuzzy soundtrack rather unbefitting of its Maranello origins. It"s not in unpleasant sound, but it"s a one-dimensional blat that is drowned completely über the M3"s volcano crackle.

Happily, die 2021 BMW M3 Competition cd driver far far better than it looks, and the 2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio drives an ext thrilling 보다 it sounds. The main event des this buchstabe desert sojourn was an empty-ish mountain road the does a stunning Yankee impression von Italy"s Stelvio Pass. But before we might splatter ns rear panels in molten rubber, we idled at die mountain"s base, twiddling with assist systems and drive modes kommen sie put both cars into their max-attack stance.

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More irritable grunts emanated from ns M3"s open window while effectively locking in the BMW"s drive settings for the erste time. Navigating die wildly complex and counterintuitive menus, sub-menus, and sub-sub-menus was a pistole pain: ns morphine only kicked an once our choices were mapped to die bright red "M1" and "M2" antennae tasten jutting from ns upper sides des the steering-wheel center. ~ that, you just toggle betwee the two weil das your desired preset mode profile.

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The Alfa continued kommen sie be ns Bizzarro-world alternative to ns M3. It"s tot simple—too simple, really. Die rotary drive-mode selector on the center console offers 4 choices, only two of which are noteworthy for schon fast driving. Like ns M3 Competition, ns Giulia Quadrifoglio rides ~ above adaptive suspension. Unlike the BMW, sie cannot toggle betwee suspension stiffness outside des their tethered drive settings.

The 2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio"s suspension ist set to medium stiffness while an Dynamic mode, through the treiber given the möglichkeit to soften things über poking ns suspension button located an the center von the drive-mode selector. We found Dynamic mode auch soft, deshalb we skipped straight to Race setting where die suspension ist at that hardest, and where it kann be toggled down zu Dynamic mode"s middle setting for extra comfort.

Frustratingly, engaging gyeongju mode so forces die stability control und traction-control off, deshalb you can"t access die stiffest suspension without also running your 505-hp monster without treiber aids. Fine on die track, yet it"s at first frustrating und nerve-wracking top top a hill pass through unprotected drop-offs.

After nur a few corners, our pertained to scowls flipped right into open-mouthed grins. It"s just beautiful zu drive. Ns steering zu sein wonderfully delicate, giving you intimate control des the sweetest contemporary rear-wheel-drive sedan chassis on the market. Even with all assist systems off und a dangerously hefty right foot, ns Giulia zu sein unshakably neutral with nur a smidge des understeer until you act like in absolute moron. Then, die rear swings the end fluidly v all the predictability des finding a burgess wrapper an a McDonalds rubbish can. Catch, correct, und charge hard down that straight. Too fast? dance on ns cheek-rippling carbon-ceramic brakes that offered us only ns slightest bit of leicht during difficult back-to-back sprints. The brake-by-wire system is too touchy zum smooth commuting, but ns instant bite and neck-wrenching protecting against power ist almost worth the binarity.

This Alfa Romeo feels viel like in M3 by way von Ferrari. A corny sentiment, perhaps, yet it"s the best way kommen sie describe just how sweet this car slips around.

"This ist a firm that gets it," Evans said. "It"s exceptionally engaging kommen sie drive und draws you an with the personality. You really feel favor you"re steering fast and having ns time des your life."

If die Alfa is a cautious caress, the new 2021 BMW M3 Competition is a dark-alley sucker-punch to the skull. If you covet outright capability, stop reading here und mark down ns M3 as the winner. Die G80 M3"s pace, limits, and brutal ability are fantastic; even ns quicksilver Giulia fell a action behind when die BMW"s wick burned weist full flame. Die M3 certain rips hoch a mountain when it"s propelled correctly; it"s enormously capable, more deswegen than ns Alfa.

Capable doesn"t constantly mean better. Bei sharp comparison to the prior M3"s/M4"s concrete-thick steering weight, die 2021 M3 Competition"s inputs room light together soap foam. Steering zu sein quick und very predictable, but not great in terms des feel. An fact, ns Alfa is a great example of how kommen sie do light steering without giving hoch too viel grain. Die BMW"s ceramic brakes—while potent—suffered the familiar pedal mushiness we"ve experienced in recent BMW ns products. Whether die culprit is a set of slag-prone street-focused brake auflagen or low-temp brake fluid, modern m cars" brakes go soggy much faster than those von its competitors" do, particularly on those v ceramic brakes.

The M3 Competition was violence bei motion through die gravel-strewn hairpins. Contrasted to ns floor-it-anywhere Alfa, ns BMW required a much, much gentler touch on ns loud pedal—that is, if you followed ns path of max efficiency. Unlike ns Giulia, we left all von the M3"s assist system on. If we fed more than geholfen throttle at ns corner exit, die rear-end teeter-tottered ever deswegen slightly under die restraint of driver aids.

Even with that spooky rear torsion, die M3"s explosive forward motion remained completely unaffected—just make certain everything zu sein set trost correctly. Pushed fast in lesser modes, ns BMW feels prefer it transfers method too viel power across the rear axle, und it makes the car feel overpowered und unstable. On ns other hand, set the car bei the exactly modes, und it stellen down energie incredibly well, through driver-inspiring confidence, zu boot.

Both cars listed a instance study of nur how far traditional automatic transmissions have come bei the past decade. Again, die venerable ZF eight-speed automobil is shared between the Giulia und M3, giving us a rare opportunity to experience marque-specific differences betwee what is essentially a mutual crate of gears. We had no complaints about ns BMW; shifts to be snappy when we wanted them und subtle wie man we didn"t, und BMW"s shift logic is one von the better examples on die market. Notfall once did we fehlschlagen the clattery old dual-clutch from the previous car, as die ZF detailed all of the quick-shifting upsides v none of the loud, balky downsides.

The Alfa"s eight-speed was similarly quick-shifting, yet its shift logic while bei max-aggro mode was best avoided über manually moving via the paddles or console shifter. Die transmission guffawed occasionally an some des the sharper, slow corners, cutting power und limiting revs kommen sie a pair thousand below redline. No warnings flashed, deswegen we assumed it was a bug and carried on.

Two cars, 2 personalities, one winner. An terms des raw speed, the trophy goes without doubt to die 2021 BMW M3 Competition. Yet if this was nur a spec-panel showdown, what"s ns point des all these collected miles? ns BMW ist barbarically quick von every parameter, however there"s nothing specifically joyful about ns way that scours a path. It"s clinical and cold, und it spat us out at the end of the mountain road notfall with a "Wow!" yet with a "Yeah, that"s around right" kind of reaction.

Still, if you seek a fairly comfortable, well-appointed four-door that could moonlight as a terrestrial bilden 3 reconnaissance craft, die 2021 BMW M3 Competition ist a good place to start. This suspect you tun können stomach that is ugly mug and you leave the unforgiving seats on die shelf. A great car, a great experience.

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As qualified as die M3 compete is, die 2020 Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio zu sein driving ambrosia. There wasn"t a stretch of paved road ns Alfa didn"t circulation down like melted garlic butter. Und as ns gap betwee the BMW und Alfa flourished on ns straights, deshalb did our grin: the Alfa just gave us more room zu poke und prod the Quad"s boundaries on our very own time. Ns car is rewarding kommen sie drive fast, easy zu drive slow, nice zu look at, simple zu operate, and it positive crackles v personality. A good car, a an excellent experience.

Spectacular engine with grausam powerReasonably comfortable wie not bei most aggressive settingExtraordinarily easy to drive extremely quicklyOne des the most capable sedans you kann sein buy