M3s with rear-wheel drive would reportedly be available with a manual gearbox but would be less powerful.
Purists rejoice because BMW allegedly intends to offer the next-gen M3 with rear-wheel drive, according to an unnamed source speaking to BMW Blog. If you live in snowy climates, don't worry because all-wheel drive would be an option, too, for folks who like having a little extra traction.
Gallery: BMW M3 new spy shots
The source also claims that the rear-drive M3 will be available with an automatic or manual gearbox. However, the all-drive version will solely be available with the automatic transmission. There will be one downside to picking the two-wheel-drive BMW, though, because it'll have less power than the AWD variant, according to this insider.
At the top of the range initially, there will also be a Competition trim. It'll likely have a little extra power and a stiffer suspension. However, buyers will only be able to get the more driver-focused machine with all-wheel drive and an automatic gearbox, BMW Blog's source claims.
The next-gen M3 and its M4 coupe counterpart will reportedly use a new twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six engine that will make around 450 horsepower (336 kilowatts) in the regular models. The Competition version would pump up the output closer to 500 hp (373 kW). BMW also intends to electrify its M cars by the end of the 2020s, but the tech isn't likely to appear on the new M3.
Look for the latest M3 to debut in 2019. The standard form of the new 3 Series goes on sale in the U.S. in March 2019. The base powerplant will be a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder producing 255 hp (190 kW) and 295 pound-feet (400 Newton-meters) of torque. It will only be available with an eight-speed automatic and the choice of rear- or all-wheel drive. The M340i will join the lineup a few months later and will come with a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six engine producing 382 hp (285 kW) and 369 lb-ft (500 Nm). The 330e plug-in hybrid will arrive for the 2020 model year.
Source: BMW Blog