World premiere: BMW M3 Sedan

World premiere: BMW M3 Sedan

The speculation, spy shots, and waiting are finally over - the BMW M3 Sedan is here. In the thirteen years since the first M3 Sedan debuted, much has changed. Developed from the ground up as a separate car, the M3 Sedan bears several unique features and key differences from the M3 Coupe. The new M3 Sedan also shares very little in common with the standard 3-series saloon, unlike the previous generation. Despite these differences, what's most remarkable about the Sedan is how much it manages to stay true to the Coupe's performance-focused design.

Sharing only the load-bearing structure, doors, roof, trunk lid, windows, and rear lights with the regular 3-series saloon, the M3 Sedan does without the carbon-fiber roof of the Coupe. The front end of the Coupe and Sedan are nearly identical, both featuring the prominent hood bulge to accommodate the new engine and gill-like M-style side slits. The wider fenders, quad-pipe exhaust, and aggressive ground-effects package are also common to both body types. The most visually impressive aspect of the Sedan is how well the extended roof-line mates with the overall feel of the Coupe - no artificial lengthening or stretched proportions to be found. Just pure, smooth, sexy lines.

Despite sharing a stock roof with the standard 3-series saloon, the M3 Sedan's aluminum chassis and other weight-saving measures help it weigh in at 1605kg (3531lb), within 50kg (110lb) of the Coupe. Powered by the same 420hp 4.0L V8, the Sedan posts similar performance statistics as well: 100km/h (62mph) comes in just 4.9s, top speed is electronically limited to 155mph, and fuel consumption is the same at 12.4L/100km (19mpg US). The same Variable M-Differential Lock from the Coupe ensures power from the fast-revving F1-inspired V8 reaches the ground with maximum effect.

Contrary to our previous speculation, the M3 Sedan will not feature BMW's new paddle-shifted dual-clutch DSG-style gearbox, aka M-DCT, offering only a six-speed manual instead. It's astounding that BMW is not going to offer any sort of automatic transmission option at launch, considering the saloon is aimed at moving people not just in speed, but comfort.

A wide selection of interior color and material options will be available. The base interior combination of cloth and leather will be upgradeable to high-grade Novillo leather, in black, Palladium Silver, Bamboo Beige, and Fox Red. The center console is lined in black leather - no cheap plastics here - continuing the luxury-sport marriage that defines the M3. The sport-themed interior is carried into the rear seats, giving each occupant the full M3 experience. Completing the conversion to grand-tourer is a deluxe sound system delivering 825W through 16 speakers, complete with speed-related volume and equalization controls.

If you're like us, you'll be prowling your local showrooms waiting for the new M3 to show up. Until then, satisfy your hunger with the visual feast in our gallery below.