Everything we know so far about the new BMW M3
All of the latest information about BMW's new small super saloon
Ever since its release in 1986, the BMW M3 has remained one of the most coveted performance cars on the market. After the immense success of the previous model, the production of which ceased some two years ago, we are finally catching a glimpse of what the next M3 might be like. Here's everything we know so far about BMW's next super saloon.
The new M3 is expected to be powered by BMW's latest performance powerplant, the 'S58' twin turbocharged 3 litre straight-six, which has been tried and tested in the X3 and X4 M models and produces around 480bhp. BMW will also build a 'Competition' version of the new M3 with over 500bhp, as well as uprated suspension, brakes and various cosmetic enhancements.
The new BMW S58 engine can produce up to 500bhp in 'Competition' guise (Image Credits: Arteum.ro)
Reassuringly, BMW have taken steps to ensure that this power can be deployed safely - higher trim levels of the M3 will be fitted as standard with xDrive, BMW's advanced all-wheel drive system. BMW are to offer a wide range of trim levels for the new M3, from the 'Pure' model - with a detuned engine driving the rear wheels only via a six speed manual gearbox - to the aforementioned 'Competition' model, a 500bhp four-wheel drive monster. Furthermore, for the first time in the history of the M3, BMW are building an estate version with 500 litres of boot capacity in order to compete with rivals such as the Audi RS4 Avant and the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG Estate.
However, recent spy shots have revealed that the new BMW M3 will feature a controversial new large grille design that is becoming increasingly common on new BMW models. The motoring press have been almost unanimous in their antipathy towards this unusual design, making it all the more curious that BMW have decided to feature it on their most popular sports car. It is hard not to draw comparisons to the Chris Bangle era, when BMW stubbornly continued to implement controversial designs created by the then Chief of Design at BMW, Chris Bangle. This saga continued for years until 2009, when Bangle finally resigned after almost a decade of constant criticism. Hopefully BMW have learnt their lesson and the errors of the Bangle era won't be repeated.
Either way, prices for the new M3 are expected to start at around £60,000 in the UK, which is good value considering that it is more powerful than the Audi RS4 and the Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG, both of which cost well over £65,000. Thankfully, the new BMW M3, sounds, so far, like a stellar super saloon with unparalleled levels of practicality and performance.
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