The next-generation BMW M3 has been spied undergoing tests ahead of an expected debut in late 2019.
This prototype is based on the all-new 3-Series, which rides on a shortened version of BMW’s new CLAR (Cluster Rear Architecture) platform that also serves in the new M5. The car is bigger than the current 3-Series, but will shed some weight and also be a bit more rigid thanks to the platform’s use of high-strength steel and aluminum. Also helping to trim weight will be an expected carbon fiber roof, which is standard on the M5, along with other carbon components.
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BMW’s twin-turbocharged inline six engine should remain under the hood with power boosted up to or over the 465 horsepower mark, which is more than the current M3 Competition and M3 CS, but less than the ultra hardcore M4 GTS. Unlike the M5, the M3 should remain rear-wheel drive only, with BMW M believing its sport compact sedan is better suited to a rear-wheel drive layout. The M3 may also become too expensive if the high-tech M xDrive system from the M5 were employed.
The all-new M3 will lead an M-car assault that will see BMW introduce 11 full-blown M vehicles and another 15 M-Performance vehicles by 2020. We’re expecting it to make its debut sometime in late 2019, before going on sale early in 2020.