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Long-term review

BMW M3 Competition – long-term review

£74,000 / as tested £87,000 / £1,260 PCM
Published: 09 Aug 2021

What’s the BMW M3’s carbon nub for? Wrong answers only

The new G80 M3 Competition can be fitted with ‘M Carbon Bucket Seats’. They’re part of the ‘M Carbon Pack’, which also replaces plastic elements of the bodywork (front bumper inserts, rear diffuser, boot lid spoiler and wing mirrors) with expensive, lightweight weaved carbon. Costing £6,750, it’s a hefty price to pay just so people know you’ve bought the fastest 3 Series available. But it’s definitely a box worth ticking. Mainly because of those seats.

As thrones go, they’re absolutely terrific. In fact, they’re up there with some of the best seats I’ve ever sat in; even better than the ace Recaro buckets you got in the hardcore E92 M3 GTS. Yes, the carbon shells, kidney cutouts and high thigh supports add a bit of visual glamour to proceedings, but fundamentally they do exactly what a seat should do: support you in a comforting manner so you can grip the wheel, prod the pedals and get on with the driving without sloshing around.

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Unlike the chubby standard seats the carbon buckets have had one of the most extreme nip ‘n’ tuck procedures for a road car chair. Any excess has literally been cut out to leave a scalloped, racy seat that's cloaked in a comfy cocktail of black perforated leather, white cow skin and sweat-resistant Alcantara. There's also an ///M badge between your shoulder blades that illuminates. And they’re heated – cold winter bum be gone! And contrary to what your eyes are telling you, they work on long drives. I know, I’ve done a single 13-hour stint in them.

However, seats are different for everyone as we’re not all the same shape and size. So I’m suspecting if you’ve had a hard lockdown the added support may become uncomfortable as you burst out the bolsters. So the best thing to do is go and try one if you can at a dealer.

But there’s one thing that everyone comments on: the carbon nub in between your thighs. This small island in the Sea of Seat separates your thighs to trick your brain into thinking ‘sporty’. It feels a bit foreign at first and ultimately gets in your way if you left foot brake – a by-product of actual sporty driving and has already earned the name 'nut rest' from Chris Harris. There are even ruder ones but I can’t type them here as we're a family website.

Saying that, I have found this raised carbon wart to be an excellent miniature drumkit to thrash your knuckles against while bored at traffic lights. But as this is the internet, let’s play an internet game: Wrong Answers Only. So what is this leathery carbon boil for? Let us know in the comments below. And remember, keep 'em clean and wrong answers only.

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