The latest-generation BMW 3 Series will soon make its debut here in South Africa. Double Apex will report directly after its local introduction as we are attending the ride and drive event. But for now we have new BMW M3 engine info.
More than one flavour
New BMW M3 engine info has been leaked from company insiders. The upcoming BMW M3 has the code G80 and reports coming out of Germany suggest that there will be more than one version of BMW’s iconic sports saloon and coupe.
An ‘entry-level’ model is said to have 331 kW, a manual transmission and rear-wheel drive, in keeping with tradition. Power is derived from the company’s bullet-proof inline six-cylinder turbocharged motor, known internally as S58.
A level up will be a 354 kW derivative. In this model, power will be fed to all four wheels via an automatic transmission, much like its bigger sibling the BMW M5. At the very top of the M3/M4 food chain will be a 373 kW version, most likely called the M3 Competition. It will also be an all-wheel-drive automatic version. It is unclear as yet whether there will be a manual all-wheel-drive option in the line-up.
Click here to read our BMW M5 review.
Interestingly, it seems that BMW will ditch its dual-clutch transmission in favour of an eight-speed torque converter automatic. The xDrive four-wheel drive system will most likely feature the RWD-only mode found in the larger BMW M5. Reports also suggest that water injection, as used in the M4 GTS, and some form of mild electrification could help boost power when needed.
It will be interesting to see if the gamble to offer two drivetrain options will pay off in terms of sales. Are there enough drivers out there willing to compromise on standing start acceleration bragging rights to create two distinct model lines? We suspect that there will be a very small percentage of RWD-only models sold worldwide and that BMW will can the variant at some point.