The bells of disappointment rang in the ears of purists when BMW announced the new 3-Series wouldn’t come with a manual gearbox, even on the lowest-spec models. Much is the way with the introduction of any new BMW, attention immediately turns to the imminent M version. With the standard car not getting a manual, it was presumed the M3 would also surrender to DCT only. According to new rumours however, that may not be the case.
While no official bulletin has been broadcast by BMW themselves, according to a report on BMW Blog, the next M3 will have a manual gearbox option. Not only that, but it may also get a four wheel drive system akin to the one found in the M5 - allowing for grip and stability everyday, while also accommodating for drifting fun in 2WD mode. For some, this may be slightly upsetting as the 4WD system - despite it’s ability to cater for 2WD driving - would add a chunk of weight to the car.
Fortunately however, that weight should have a decent amount of additional power to shove it up the road. Using a heavily modified version of the 369bhp turbocharged 6-cylinder engine out of the new M340i, the next M3 is predicted to produce around 500bhp! If it does, it would give the M3 the same amount of power the M5 had in its legendary V10 era. Yes, “progress”, I know.
The new M3 isn’t set to come into the world until 2020, so the very earliest we’re likely to see it or hear anything about it would be at the end of 2019. I guess then we’ll just have to wait and see if it really will be coming to life with the option of a manual gearbox. Say a prayer to the automotive Gods before you go to sleep tonight!
But what do you guys think? Do you think a manual and 4 wheel drive are on the cards for the new M3? Let me know in the comments.
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