We’re convinced that the previous generation BMWs (save for probably 3-Series) will stand out as divergent from the developmental flow. That is true in both styling and in powetrains. Last time around the M5 ditched its traditional V-8 power plant for a V-10. A BMW V-10? That was a shocker.
Then, the M3 moved to a V-8 after being powered by BMW’s inline sixes for most of its lifetime. This time around styling has returned to form, and things are making more sense under the hood as well. F30 Post reports that the next-generation M3 will return to inline six-cylinder power.
Emphasis on inline there; some speculation surfaced that BMW would make it a V-6. The thinking was that BMW could basically lop two-cylinders off the twin-turbocharged V-8 powering the M5. According BMW North America President Ludwig Willisch that possibility was being considered, but they settled on an inline six. Smart move, we say. The new engine will have two or possibly three (!) turbos to help it generate about 450 horsepower. The M3 is about 1.5 to 2 years away, and F30 post says the next car will be lighter, faster, more efficient, and more powerful than the current car.
A manual transmission will be either optional or standard, and a debut will take place in early 2013 or 2014. Why the wait? The M3 is primarily coupe based (the four-door sedan version was killed off) and the current-generation coupe hasn’t debuted yet. Right now, previous generation versions of the coupe and convertible are still being sold alongside the current F30. BMW has been said to consider renaming the coupe/convertible versions as 4-Series, but that would mean ditching the M3 moniker, which we can confidently say won’t happen. Can’t they just leave well enough alone? 3-Series, 3-Series Coupe, 3-Series Convertible – makes sense to us.