Following the impressive performance boost of the new 5 Series, BMW has similar plans with the next generation of the 3 Series, which is reportedly going to be lighter and more powerful than the current hardcore BMW M3 CS.
The 2018 BMW M3 CS is as hardcore as the current 3 Series generation gets, if you don’t count the 4 Series, as its 453 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque is a significant gain over the regular M3's 425 HP and 406 lb-ft.
But according to Autocar, BMW plans to set the bar higher for the standard M3 with the next generation of the car due in 2020:
Power will be sent rearwards from an extensively updated version of BMW’s twin-scroll turbocharged 3.0-litre straight-six engine. The M3 CS, the run-out version of today’s F80 M3, produces 454bhp, but a figure of 465bhp is predicted for the standard version of the next M3. While not confirmed, part of the performance increase could come from the use of a water injection system like the one employed by the M4 GTS, enabling reduced cylinder temperatures for more efficient running.
The report also claims the next-gen regular M3 will weigh less than the current 3,500-pound M3 CS, thanks in part to more carbon use including an all-carbon roof.
The new car will also reportedly grow about 20mm in length and will not be getting a similar four-wheel drive system found in the M5. Instead, it’ll stick to rear-wheel drive with a six-speed manual as standard and an optional eight-speed automatic transmission.
Honestly, this all sounds like a recipe for something incredible. The only thing that doesn’t seem to be making a fairly drastic change is the car’s appearance, which will seemingly follow the evolutionary trend of the new 5 Series. Still, it seems like it’s going to be a great time, if Autocar is even close to being right.
And if Autocar is right, and if the McLaren CEO is crowing about the magical power of lightness, maybe we’re all onto something.