The New BMW M3 Slowed Down Just Long Enough For Us To Catch It

A couple of months ago, our spy photographers caught the first glimpse of the next BMW M3 out testing in the cold and snow. In typical M style, it was moving too fast for us to get a good look at it, but even an M3 has to slow down at some point. And fortunately for us, it did.

The sixth iteration of the legendary Bavarian performance machine is expected to adopt an upgraded version of the current model’s 3.0-liter twin-turbo inline-six – potentially as potent as the one in the M3 GTS, where it produces 493 horsepower.

That innovative water cooling system could feature as well. The jury’s still out on whether that engine will receive any sort of electric assist, but we wouldn’t rule out a (very) mild hybrid setup in the form of a 48-volt electrical system. But if it does feature, we could see other components – like the suspension for example – benefitting from the more robust voltage as well.

We could see the M xDrive system from the larger M5 performance sedan finding its way into the smaller model as well, though the tinkerers at BMW M GmbH could opt to keep things simpler with a traditional rear-drive setup. Of equal import is whether a traditional six-speed manual transmission will continue to be offered, or whether it’ll be an eight-speed auto-only affair this time. (Fingers crossed for three pedals.)

Whatever the oily bits, the performance version of what would be the seventh-generation 3 Series is expected to launch as a 2020 model. So we could see it as soon as the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show.

Photo Credits: CarPix for CarScoops

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  • Honda NSX-R

    The thing that makes me nervous about this gen M3 is how much heavier it’ll get.

    • Kaisuke971

      All the new BMWs are lighter, thanks to the CLAR platform. The new M5 is bigger, has AWD yet is still a couple kilos lighter than the F10. So far reports have said that the G80 M3 is supposed to be lighter as well despite having that same “M xDrive” AWD system.

      • Honda NSX-R

        I just hope it’ll feel like a proper M3 if it’s getting bigger (although lighter) and will get M xDrive. I drove an F80 M3 and I want one badly, hopefully it won’t differ largely from the M3’s driving dynamics or even better, be a better car to drive than the F80.

      • chuck2

        Its generally the special versions that are lighter (m4 with carbon roof was only barely lighter than previous m3).. They tend to fudge the numbers a bit..

  • lagunas3ca

    Those flares tho.

  • Kaisuke971

    I wouldn’t hold my breath for BMW to put that manual option, especially if the car has M xDrive as standard.

  • GR

    I would say this is equipped with xDrive, looks like both front and rear axles have driveshafts as there are no centre caps on the wheels, big give away…

    • Weiman

      What? Do explain.

      • GR

        You can see the driveshaft nuts, front and rear

  • Six_Tymes

    please be lighter.

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