At the very start of 2019, we brought you the story below outlining BMW M3 engine info. In a recent interview with a UK media title, BMW M boss Markus Flasch confirmed the details of the upcoming sports saloon. We’ve incorporated the latest info (along with our initial figures) into our original story and included a video of the M3 testing at a recent industry pool day at the Nurburgring.

You can read our initial report on the latest-generation BMW 3 Series at this link.

More than one flavour

The upcoming BMW M3 has the code G80 and reports coming out of Germany confirm that there will be more than one version of BMW’s iconic sports saloon and coupe. Power is derived from the company’s bullet-proof inline six-cylinder turbocharged motor, known internally as S58.

The regular M3/M4 will have 353 kW (354 kW) on tap. 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 375 kW (373 kW) version, called the M3 Competition. It will also be an all-wheel-drive automatic version. Both states of tune will have 600 N.m of torque.

An ‘entry-level’ model has been rumoured and is said to have 331 kW, a manual transmission and rear-wheel drive, in keeping with tradition. BMW’s stated this “driver’s” version of the M3/M4, but not its power rating. “We will also do rear-wheel-drive cars, purer ones too and a manual stick shift,” said Flasch.

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 also feature the RWD-only mode as found in the larger BMW M5.

Overkill?

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 ditch the variant at some point.