June 1st, 2020 by

The difference between BMW M, M Sport, and M Performance

One letter helped cement BMW’s reputation for desirable, high-performance vehicles: M. Originally, M badges were reserved for mildly-detuned race cars, like the M1 supercar and E30 M3 sports sedan. Now, however, the BMW M is found on a whole range of powerful, fast cars, like the X5 and X6 SUVs. But not every M badge means the same thing. At our Pfaff BMW Markham dealership, we have a very large selection of new and pre-owned BMW vehicles that are waiting for you to take out for a test drive. If you are looking for a BMW with badass performance, then something from the M-Series lineup could be of interest to you. In this blog, we share some information about the difference between BMW M, M Sport, and M Performance.

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BMW M Sport

The lowest rung in the BMW M ladder is M Sport. Unlike M Performance or M, which are unique vehicle variants, ‘M Sport’ is actually an accessory package that can be added to almost any BMW. Even luxury models like the 7-Series, 8-Series, and X7 can all be ordered with the M Sport package. What is in the M Sport package can differ from vehicle to vehicle. However, at the bare minimum, it adds unique exterior and interior touches. This includes a few small M badges, darker exterior, and interior trim, larger wheels, a sportier-looking body kit, and a special steering wheel. Some BMWs, though, get even more.

The BMW M Performance

One step above M Sport is M Performance. An easy way to distinguish between the two is by the badge on the trunk. A 340i with the M Sport package, for instance, will just say ‘340i’; the M Performance version, the BMW M340i, though will actually say ‘M340i.’ And while M Sport is mostly about looks, M Performance adds genuine speed. Sticking with the 3-Series, the M340i gets a different engine than the standard car. The standard 3-Series engine is a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder, making 255 hp. The M340i, though, has a 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged six-cylinder, making 382 hp. Although it no longer has a manual, the M Performance version does get M Sport brakes, M Sport exhaust, larger wheels and sportier tires, additional selectable driving modes, and a standard electronically-controlled locking rear differential.


The M Performance cars may be the fastest and most-powerful trims available, but BMW officially considers its M products as separate models, due to the extent of the performance modifications. That’s why official M vehicles don’t have trim designations, e.g. the M3 and the X6 M are just badged ‘M3’ and ‘X6 M’. And where M Performance cars are mostly intended for street-driving, every BMW M SUV and car is designed with track racing in mind. BMW offers every X5 M and X6 M buyer training at one of its M driving schools. Which, considering what the M models receive, is likely very necessary. The most obvious is even more power. The standard BMW M3 uses the same 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged six-cylinder as the M340i, only in the M3, it makes 425 hp. The M3 Competition boosts that even further, to 444 hp. The upcoming 2021 M3 could offer as much as 510 hp. But the M-specific modifications go further than that.

Inevitably, all these performance and handling features do add up. The exact price of the M Sport package differs model to model, but the M Performance versions add even more cost. Regardless of the M package that you are going for, one thing is for certain, you will be getting a high-end BMW vehicle with a lot of power. For more information about the M-Series BMW vehicles, we encourage you to get in touch with a Pfaff BMW Markham representative today. Additionally, with that, click here to learn about the Pfaff Difference.

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