2020 M3 To Feature Switchable AWD And Auto ‘Box As Standard, Says BMW M Exec

The next BMW M3 will be the first generation in the long history of the nameplate to have its power going to all four wheels, according to one BMW M executive.

Carsten Pies, BMW M’s head of product planning confirmed the powertrain details of the upcoming 2020 BMW M3 to Evo, saying it’ll use an all-new twin-turbo 3.0-liter straight-six engine paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission and an adapted version of the M5 xDrive all-wheel drive system.

The new powertrain, which will debut in the already revealed X3 M and X4 M SUV models, will be offered in two versions: the base 480hp models and the 510hp Competition ones. Unlike the X3 M and X4 M, the new M3 will get the same ‘Drift mode’ as found in the M5, meaning the driver will be able to switch off the front driveshafts for some good old-fashioned RWD hoonery.

As with pretty much every recent generation of the M3, the new model will also get bespoke front and rear subframes, with additional chassis bracing also present. The 2020 BMW M3 will use a revised version of the M5’s adaptive suspension.

Offering an automatic transmission as standard is another first for the iconic M3, and one that might upset a number of purists out there. However, there’s a chance BMW might offer a six-speed manual “Pure” version of the M3, sending power exclusively to the rear wheels. This will be a lighter variant aimed at driving enthusiasts, but with a detuned engine offering around 454hp in order to protect the transmission’s internals.

The new generation of the BMW M3 is scheduled for a public debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show later this year.

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  • chuck2

    i have my doubts it will be lighter by ‘150lbs’ if they added front wheel drive.

  • TangoUrilla

    So glad I have my manual M4, the extra weight of the awd will be a killer on these, just buy an audi if you want a numb handling car.

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