Having announced last month that the internally designated G80 will offer the option of a six-speed manual gearbox and rear-wheel-drive, BMW M boss Markus Flasch has now officially revealed that power will come from the new 3.0-litre S58 twin-turbocharged engine that motivates the X3/M4 M.
“It will have 480bhp in the standard version and 510bhp in the Competition version. Drivetrain-wise, think about the M5’s all-wheel drive system – we are able to put it in the M3 as well. It’ll be very similar. But we will also do rear-wheel drive cars, purer ones too and a manual stick shift,” Flasch told Britain’s Car Magazine.
With the mentioned outputs equating to 353 kW and 375 kW respectively, reports are that the former’s output will be used for the alleged ‘Pure’ version that will feature rear-wheel-drive paired with the manual gearbox and the standard four-wheel-drive, automatic M3, while the latter, as indicated by Flasch, will denote the four-wheel-drive, self-shifting Competition.
As indicated before, the current M3’s seven-speed dual-clutch ‘box will be replaced by the eight-speed sport Steptronic also used in the M5, though the manual ‘Pure’, according to the publication, will feature a bespoke electronically controlled rear differential and specific exterior details to differentiate itself from the ‘regular’ M3.
Reportedly slated for unveiling at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, the M3 will bow alongside the equally new M4, while the Competition will bow in either 2020 or 2021. Also rumoured but unconfirmed are possible CS and CSL versions of the latter claimed to produce between 390 kW and 405 kW.