As with every generation so far, the upcoming BMW M3 is a rather big deal for performance car lovers and fans of the German brand.
We’ve been witnessing BMW M evolving and expanding the lineup in the past few years but the M3 will always be the core model. Perhaps the biggest change over the outgoing generation will be the adoption of all-wheel drive.
While these news might displease the purists, the truth is that the M3 was becoming too powerful for its own good, especially for markets with colder climates. Adding an all-wheel drive system will make the M3 a much more capable all-season performer, not to mention much quicker off the line.
All-Wheel Drive And A New Twin-Turbo Engine
This won’t be a regular all-wheel drive system either; BMW is going to use the trick M xDrive system that debuted in the M5, complete with a mode that turns off the front driveshafts and lets the beast loose.
Power will come from a new twin-turbo 3.0-liter straight-six engine that’s paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission -instead of the outgoing model’s dual-clutch unit- as confirmed by BMW M’s head of product planning Carsten Pies in an older report.
The new engine, which will make its first appearance in the already revealed X3 M and X4 M SUVs, will come in two flavors: a base version with 473hp (480PS) and a more powerful Competition model with 503hp (510PS).
A Manual For The Purists (?)
We still don’t know if BMW will offer a manual transmission option in these models but not all hope is gone; several reports suggest that the company will introduce a third version of the M3, internally codenamed ‘Pure’, which will sent its power exclusively to the rear axle through a six-speed manual. The M3 ‘Pure’ will be powered by a less powerful, 454hp (460PS) version of the twin-turbo engine, while the chassis will be slightly tweaked to better suit the more focused character of the model. It’s also going to be cheaper than the all-wheel drive versions too.
Flared Fenders Are Still Here
The bodywork of the new M3 will differ from lesser models, with prototypes showcasing their wider fenders, wider air intakes and quad exhaust tips. The chassis will feature model-specific subframes front and rear, bigger brakes, the latest active differential technologies and additional bracing.
The new BMW M3 is expected to be followed by a four-door M4 Gran Coupe, in addition to the two-door M4 variants. Sadly, there’s no indication of BMW giving us a M3 Touring anytime soon, despite some recent reports indicating otherwise. BMW is expected to reveal the new M3 at the Frankfurt Motor Show this September, together with the M4 Coupe and Convertible models.