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      01-21-2021, 03:54 PM   #1
gertpacu
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2018 M3 Competition

So, I was looking at getting a 2018 M3 competition as a weekender car and travel from like sacrament to Reno or Tahoe (twisty roads).

I like the added HP but since I couldn't find the answer searching I will ask here. If I had a base stock M3 and a competition M3 and received the same tune would the HP and TQ in the end be exactly the same as the base M3, negating whatever advantage in HP I had prior to the tune or would the competition M3 keep it's slight HP advantage.

Are the tunes different from one to the other?
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      01-21-2021, 04:19 PM   #2
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If power is what you want then any aftermarket tune when applied to both will result in the same power regardless of Base vs ZCP. The engine and drivetrain is identical between the two.

To take one step back, if you are looking for a twisty road car then I'm not sure the M3/4 is the best option. Don't get me wrong, they're incredible cars but you can't really test their limits on public roads (especially back roads). The M2 and M2C are a great shout not because of power, but because you can enjoy the shorter wheel base a bit more easily at legal/sane speeds.
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      01-21-2021, 04:51 PM   #3
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I needed it to have 4 doors

So basically when you tune the engine you're removing the BMW tune and turning it back to a stock m3, which after adding the aftermarket tune would have the exact same HP numbers (instead of the competition tune giving 19 hp more)... Got it. So there is no reason for me to pay more for competition when I plan on getting it tuned anyway.
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      01-21-2021, 05:14 PM   #4
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Make sure you pay attention to the ZCP package's trim, though. You'll get 20 inch ZCP 666M wheels (not the 18 inch stock) and a bunch of gloss black (shadowline) trim that the non-ZCP will have in chrome. There may be some interior differences, like the seatbelts and seats themselves, I'm not sure. If you don't mind the aesthetic differences between ZCP and non, and plan to tune (both HP and top speed limiter), then go for the stock one. The literature says that the ZCP package has a 'more direct steering' feel (and revised suspension settings) so you'd have to drive both to see if you can differentiate.
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      01-21-2021, 05:20 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gertpacu View Post
I needed it to have 4 doors

So basically when you tune the engine you're removing the BMW tune and turning it back to a stock m3, which after adding the aftermarket tune would have the exact same HP numbers (instead of the competition tune giving 19 hp more)... Got it. So there is no reason for me to pay more for competition when I plan on getting it tuned anyway.
My post isn't to say you won't have fun on a backroad with the M3, just that there are other options that would be a bit better for that specific use case. You'll still love it no matter what

The tune won't turn it back to stock, it's more that no tuner is going to sell a bifurcated tune for base and ZCP as that is limiting their market.

I assume you aren't concerned with warranty. ZCP consists of a slight power bump and different suspension hardware (springs, shocks, sway bar). So to the extent that you will be changing any of those features (will void warranty on those pieces), then yes it would be a waste to spend extra for ZCP. Now if you have two equivalent cars in front of you, one ZCP and one base, at about the same price then go ZCP.
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      01-21-2021, 05:36 PM   #6
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So I will do the stock and then get the tune. So I am not going to piggyback this one right? Which are the best for the M3?
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      01-21-2021, 06:17 PM   #7
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I am getting a hell of a deal which is why I wanted to buy now. I guess people aren't spending money on these type of things now and I see a lot of dealers cutting prices or taking losses on vehicles that are sitting there for months and months depreciating even more. I was not affected by Covid work wise so I was hoping to get something, and the M3 was a dream car of mine. I was looking at the 2018 M5 when they had put in the better handling, and engine but I can't touch a 2018 for less than 75k. With the M3 I was getting dealerships to take losses, but they didn't have the exact color I wanted.
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      01-21-2021, 06:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RugbyBro View Post
If power is what you want then any aftermarket tune when applied to both will result in the same power regardless of Base vs ZCP. The engine and drivetrain is identical between the two.
I'm not saying you're wrong, but dinan had a different stage 3 advertised HP for the ZCP vs. Non ZCP so wonder if there is another variable we're not seeing.
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      01-21-2021, 10:44 PM   #9
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The advantage of not getting the competition package is that you have a better chance of avoiding the 20" wheels. Terrible for ride and handling. If you are looking to carve up 50 (that's the highway right?), then you will enjoy it better with 18s or 19s.
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      01-21-2021, 11:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m3elmo View Post
I'm not saying you're wrong, but dinan had a different stage 3 advertised HP for the ZCP vs. Non ZCP so wonder if there is another variable we're not seeing.
Oh interesting I didn't know that about the Dinan tunes - might have something to do with their relationship with BMW? but that's pure speculation on my part. Interestingly, Steve Dinan's current Company, Carbahn, doesn't distinguish between base/comp/CS. I couldn't imagine there are any variables we aren't seeing outside of brand management, potentially. Base and comp have identical engine & drivetrain
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      01-21-2021, 11:32 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gertpacu View Post
So I will do the stock and then get the tune. So I am not going to piggyback this one right? Which are the best for the M3?
These cars are very fast out of the box and I would probably caution you a little bit about adding more power if this is a weekend backroad and twisty road warrior; you can barely rev it out consistently as it is on Norcal B-Roads unless you want to be smashing it at 80-100mph on the tight twisties
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      01-21-2021, 11:42 PM   #12
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If you are getting a "great" deal, I'd be cautious of it being a previous BMW performance track car. There are numerous parts in here about track cars and the problems they have. I would suggest looking at the title history (car fax, etc.) to determine its original ownership after reading through the various related posts.

And to your point, yes people are still buying these, so I'd be cautious of getting to good of a deal. There is no such thing as free lunch.
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      01-22-2021, 12:18 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RugbyBro View Post
These cars are very fast out of the box and I would probably caution you a little bit about adding more power if this is a weekend backroad and twisty road warrior; you can barely rev it out consistently as it is on Norcal B-Roads unless you want to be smashing it at 80-100mph on the tight twisties
This. The car does not need more power for backroad or street applications.
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      01-22-2021, 01:12 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scoale View Post
This. The car does not need more power for backroad or street applications.
Agree it's really the torque curve on this thing that is challenging, reminds me of the old school 930-porsches a bit.

That said in norcal b-roads some drivers are point, mash, brake, repeat. So to some the power is what they desire not the handling dynamics.
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      01-22-2021, 04:27 PM   #15
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M3 Comp takes everything to a higher level compared to base car. Its a little faster, handles a bit better, ride is harsher even in comfort mode and exhaust is louder. The seats on the Comp are more aggressive and have the cutouts plus you get the blackout trim outside.

I had 2016 base and 18 Comp now.

In regards to prices - i know the 2018 M3 Comps with the LCI 2 are holding very well.

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      01-22-2021, 06:22 PM   #16
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The Seats and belts makes the Comp worth it. For power, the base has enough to ruin all your tires. Test drive it, I found no need to mod.

Last edited by imjello; 01-22-2021 at 06:27 PM.. Reason: i have base
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      01-22-2021, 06:44 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m3elmo View Post
Agree it's really the torque curve on this thing that is challenging, reminds me of the old school 930-porsches a bit.

That said in norcal b-roads some drivers are point, mash, brake, repeat. So to some the power is what they desire not the handling dynamics.
I find the torque curve very linear. The 930, and correct me if I'm wrong, cause it is 100% based on what I've read - comes on like a light switch.

That's not the M3...
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