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