Next-gen M3 undergoes testing at the Nürburgring ahead of its show debut in Geneva next year

The next BMW M3 has been spied undergoing testing at the Nürburgring, ahead of an expected debut at the Geneva motor show next March.

The M3 was last seen hot-weather testing in Death Valley earlier this month. Compared to that car, this test mule has substantially flared wheel arches and a more aggressive, lowered stance. This perhaps hints at a more overtly sporting M flagship than previous M3s, aping the outlandish 1M Coupe.

For the first time in its history, BMW will power the M3 with a turbocharged straight-six engine and be offered solely with a dual-clutch transmission. The powerplant will be a heavily modified version of the N55 that features in the M135i and 640i. In line with its Audi RS5 and Mercedes C63 AMG rivals, the M3 is expected to produce around 450bhp and 480lb ft of torque. It is likely to inherit the M5’s dual-clutch gearbox, but with its seven speeds revised for its new installation.

Electro-mechanical steering will also feature for the first time on an M3, but the electronic M differential remains. Like the bigger M5 and M6, the M3 will feature three-stage dynamic damper control.

Like the previous E92 model, this ‘F80’ M3 will retain a unitary steel structure. Despite this, aluminium is expected to feature prominently in areas such as the bonnet and doors to get the new car under the 1605kg kerb weight of the last version. 

Matt Bird

Our Verdict

The latest generation BMW M3 isn't as thrilling as the original E30 M3, but it's still mighty

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Comments
11

22 August 2012

On your marks,

Get Set (with all the moans and groans about the lack of a naturally aspirated engine attached to a manual gearbox.)

Go

N.B. I do think they should give you a choice over the gear box though.

22 August 2012

audiolab wrote:

On your marks,

Get Set (with all the moans and groans about the lack of a naturally aspirated engine attached to a manual gearbox.)

Go

N.B. I do think they should give you a choice over the gear box though.

OK.

Well actually as i never bought an M3 (or any other BMW) with a naturally aspirated engine and a manual box, i cant blame them for making the new one without either of these two desirable features. But i wont be buying the new one either!

23 August 2012

+1

22 August 2012

Love the look of this - especially those wheel arches.  

23 August 2012

Still not enough to even go close to competing with the GTR which is in the same price point.

23 August 2012

Matthew Langton wrote:

Still not enough to even go close to competing with the GTR which is in the same price point.

The GT-R is £74K. Current M3 is £55K.

haz

23 August 2012

"Latest M3 test mule is a four-door, suggesting the M3 range will continue to be multi-bodystyle"

I read somewhere that BMW were discontinuing the 3 series coupe, instead remarketing it as the 4 series. This keeps the marketing in line with the 5 series saloon and 6 series coupe. So I assume the M3 coupe will become the M4.

Im glad the new M3 gets a straight 6, reminds me of the old M3s. And the turbo will give it the torque of the V8 so win win. However, although I admire the engineering behind twin clutch gearboxes, Id prefer a manual in an M3.

23 August 2012

BMW is no1 Brand for makeing fastest street racing cars. BMW had already produces a lot of power cars . And this will new car will make spot in motor market. Additional turbo power for BMW m3 is attractive feature for this car. I also want to drive this car on street race. I am dam sure that people will buy this car. Using car accessoreis we can modify also this car.

23 August 2012

Where does this leave the GTS?,i know it's just a stripped out racr for the road, but, if BMW put this new M3 out on the road with decent options, it's bound to make buyers of said GTS feel annnoyed.

Peter Cavellini.

haz

23 August 2012

Peter Cavellini wrote:

Where does this leave the GTS?,i know it's just a stripped out racr for the road, but, if BMW put this new M3 out on the road with decent options, it's bound to make buyers of said GTS feel annnoyed.

 

The GTS is quite rare whereas the new M3 will be relatively common. Im sure in 20 years the GTS will be the more desireable car.

BMW quite often release a special version of a model just before its about to be replaced. The BMW 1M was released not too long ago, but now there is the new style M135i which is almost as quick

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