Next-generation BMW M3 (G80) to feature 493 bhp and an optional xDrive system

Article by Christian A., on November 17, 2017

More details have emerged about the new sixth generation of the BMW M3 just as the German premium practically announced the end of the current-gen 3 Series with the unveiling of the track-focused BMW M3 CS.

As reported by the Car Magazine, the next generation of the BMW M3 has a codename of G80. The next BMW M3 is bound to be introduced in 2021, around three years after BMW launches the new generation of the 3-Series saloon (codenamed G20) in 2018. The 3-Series saloon will be followed by the 3-Series Touring (G21) in 2019 and by the 4-Series coupe and convertible (G22/23) in 2020.

The next generation of the M3 is expected to don the tweaks implemented on the 3-Series. These tweaks are seen to include a wider track, a lower center of gravity and a longer wheelbase, as well as a more stable aerodynamic balance and more user-friendly ergonomics. Its design is expected to be expressive, with a number of unique elements to distinguish the G80 M3 from the current generation F80.

As for power, the sixth generation of the M3 is seen to retain the twin-turbo 3.0-liter inline-six engine that powers the current model (F80). However, this application of the turbocharged engine will be more powerful than those on the current base M3 and the upcoming M3 CS. As reported, this twin-turbo 3.0-liter inline-six engine could deliver a power level at par with the mill of the limited-edition M4 GTS, which could generate 493 bhp at 6,250 rpm and 442 lb.-ft. at 4,000 rpm.

To make this powerful engine compliant with stricter emissions regulations in the future, it makes use of a 48-volt electrical system, a particulate filter and a start/stop system as well as employ mild hybridization and a coasting mode in its most eco setting.

BMW M is seeking to make the next-gen M3 much lighter than the current iteration. However, the division would have to deal with the extra weight brought by the water injection and the standard-fit aerodynamic kit that includes bigger ducts and deflectors. M engineers would also have to offset the extra weight brought by the heavier 19- and 20-inch wheels and tires.

During development, BMW M will try to achieve a better balance of low drag and high downforce while gaining higher levels of traction. The new M3 is expected to feature the so-called iD7 infotainment system with around three interactive displays.

According to Car Magazine, the sixth-generation M3 would likely come optional with an on-demand all-wheel drive system that is less complex than the xDrive system on the 2018 BMW M5. The new M3 would also feature an electrically assisted steering, electrically operated side-to-side locking differential, adaptive dampers and a lightweight brake-by-wire system with four individual electric actuators.

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