BMW will pull the plug off the F80 M3 in August, not in May as originally reported, but still earlier than originally scheduled, due to Europe’s upcoming stricter emission regulations.
A company’s spokesman confirmed the news to Autocar, saying that the four-door sports sedan needs a new particulate filter in order to meet the new Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP).
The time-consuming process of re-homologating the F80 M3 to the new standards means that the sports sedan would not be ready by the time BMW reveals the all-new 3-Series in October.
That led to the decision of axing the M3 instead of keeping it in production for a little longer when the new-gen 3-Series rolls out, which what BMW used to do with previous-gen M3s. This will not, however, apply to the M4 coupe and the rest of the 4-Series models, as BMW decided to keep them on its lineup into the following year.
The spokesman stated that the 4-Series range will go out of sale for a couple of months in order to be re-homologated. The models will then return to the market fitted with the necessary WLTP-compliant filter. The new particulate filter will reduce the engine’s nitrous oxide output to meet the new, stricter WLTP standards, but performance will remain unaffected. This means that M4’s twin-turbo straight six will still offer 425hp.
The decision to keep the M4 for longer in production was driven by its popularity, as the M4 Coupe and Convertible easily outsold the four-door M3 in markets like the UK.
BMW is expected to launch the next-gen M3 in 2020, and it will feature an updated version of the current model’s engine.