So long V8
It has been confirmed that BMW will be using a smaller turbo engine for the 2013 M3. Motor Trend says it spoke to BMW's M Division CEO Ludwig Willisch and he confirmed the upcoming ditching of the current V8 format. The naturally-aspirated 4.0-litre V8 produces 309kW (420hp) and 400Nm of torque. Previous generation M3s used four and six-cylinder motors.
The report states that a new six-cylinder will be employed but it won't be the same 3.0-litre twin turbo that is used in the 135i and 335i models. What might miff M traditionalists is not a forcefed M3, but the fact that BMW is toying with the idea of a V6 for the M3. A V6 would be more compact as opposed to the traditional inline six BMW is known to strictly use. The new engine might not even be more powerful than the V8 but the car itself would be light in order to counter this power handicap.
The segment will get very interesting as Mercedes-Benz also prepares a new 3.5-litre twin turbo V6 for some of its AMGs and Audi is rumoured to have already forcefed the upcoming RS4 and RS5.
More news on the M front is that a 1 Series-based high-performance car was also confirmed. Thought to be developed by the M guys, BMW will probably not call it an M1. It will also have a compact four-cylinder petrol engine with well over 300hp (221kW).
Finally speculation is that the M5 is about to get its cylinders cut too in order to meet stringent emissions laws and fuel economy standards. The M5 and M6 may end up with a twin turbo V8 motor displacing less than 5.0-litres.