Expect the sporty sedan to show up sometime in 2019.
After weeks of rumors, we can finally say that a new version of the BMW M3 is on the way. The current-generation F80 has been on the market since 2014, and though it has undergone a nip here, a tuck there, and been given a hardcore CS designation, the Bimmer will end production in October 2018. Spy photos show one of the first prototypes of the new M3 spotted on public roads.
Admittedly, it’s hard to make out any distinguishing features from the limited rear angle, but there are a few features to take note of. The rear roofline is far less coupe-like than the outgoing model; a more vertical rear window angle separates the roofline from the trunk. The front fenders, meanwhile, are aggressively flared compared to its predecessor.
The taillights are different, too, but don’t expect the units pictured here to be the same ones you see on the production version. Most of the rest of the rear remains covered up by camouflage as to not give away any secrets to its final design.
Rumor has it that the same 3.0-liter biturbocharged engine will remain under the hood, in its new application producing somewhere closer to 500 horsepower (373 kilowatts). The engine will come paired to a new 48-volt mild hybrid system a more aggressive start-stop function to meet stricter emissions standards.
Like the M5 before it, the M3 will reportedly come with an optional on-demand all-wheel-drive system. The new sedan should gain a few pounds over the outgoing model, but BMW promises that with reworked aerodynamics and improved design, should aid in keeping the weight down. The system is believed to be a toned-down version of the xDrive system found in the current M5.
Expect to see the new M3 sometime in 2019, likely at the Frankfurt Motor Show, before going on sale later that same year. The new M3 will be built on the modular CLAR platform, and will feature more aluminum and high-strength steel in its construction.