2014 BMW M3 sedan spy shots
We also know that the current model’s 4.0-liter, 414-horsepower V-8 engine will disappear, replaced by a forced-induction six-cylinder engine that’s most likely to retain BMW’s traditional in-line engine layout. A pre-production version could appear as early as the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, although production probably won’t start in 2013.
Autoweek has done some digging on the car as well, and we share it with you here as pure speculation. First, the next M3 will be available as a sedan only, with coupe and cabriolet versions following as M4 variants. Longer term, there’s said to be plans for a Gran Coupe derivative, also falling under the M4 nameplate.
To keep costs in line, BMW will soldier on with mostly-steel construction, using aluminum in the hood and doors to shave pounds. Expect the car to use aluminum in the chassis as well, and expect it to ride on a longer wheelbase with a wider track than the previous version.
Autoweek seems to agree with us that the in-line six engine heritage will be preserved, quoting a “high-ranking source” as saying, “this is utter rubbish... there is no reason for BMW to abandon its tradition of straight six-cylinder power,” in regards to rumors of pending V-6 power.
Sadly, it looks like the six-speed manual dies with the current M3. New M3s (and, presumably, M4s) will be available only with a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox with both manual and automatic modes. Yes, we know this shifts quicker than we can and helps with fuel economy, but that doesn’t mean we have to like it.
To enhance traction, the next M3 will sport an electronically controlled differential capable of delivering 100-percent lockup under the right conditions. Since the differential is electronically controlled, it’s also capable of torque vectoring to ensure maximum traction when powering out of corners.
While it’s a bit premature to speculate on price, given the new car’s added features and capabilities, it will certainly sell for more than the previous M3 sedan and more than the current M3 coupe. If BMW delivers on its promise of an M235i coupe for the U.S. market, it will give them incentive to take the next M3 and M4 a bit more up-market.
We’ll bring you any news on BMW’s next M3 (and M4) as it breaks.