The new 3-Series has been on the market since last year and a new 4-Series coupe is also on the way. The BMW M Series is also rolling out the newest versions of its iconic M3 and M4. BMW M has confirmed in a 2019 press release that the world debut of the new M3 and M4 would be held sometime in 2020. People are expecting it to be later in 2020 (especially with the ongoing pandemic). According to BMW authorities, the M3 and M4 won’t go into production until late 2020 with its arrival set in early 2021.
The M3 was first introduced on the second-generation, E30 3 Series in 1985, as a two-door model. The following E36 originally launched as a coupe, but was followed by convertible models and an M3 sedan. The sedan did not make its way to the iconic E46 gen, but made a comeback for the V8-powered E90. Everything changed for the last model generation that was launched for 2014. The convertible and coupe were split off and got a new name, the M4, leaving the sedal the sole M3. The major change was not readily welcomed by the enthusiast community. Nonetheless, it still managed to process the event with loyalty intact.
Since it was announced that a new BMW M3 is on the verge of being launched, the automotive scene has been holding its breath. This is nothing surprising since previous generations of M3 have proven itself the very best in class (at least when each one was first launched). People are expecting that the 2021 M3 will live up to its predecessor’s reputation.
Many car enthusiasts are anticipating the arrival of the next installment of the legendary BMW M3. The 2021 BMW M3 is based on the recently refreshed BMW 3-series and is expected to revive the nameplate’s celebrated driver engagement. Reports are coming in that it will offer manual transmission, rear-wheel drive, and an all-wheel drive. What the public knows is that the 2021 M3 will come with a twin-turbo inline-six-cylinder engine that will produce between 473 and 503 horsepower, which will guarantee quick acceleration. The fully-loaded models will highlight the performance potential of the sport sedan with track-ready hardware that will match competitors like the Mercedes-AMG C63 and Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio.
New for 2021
The initiator M3 model is now waiting to take off, now that the BMW has reinvented its classical 3-series for an all-new generation. A camouflage example was even spotted wearing what happens to be a wide-body kit, larger brakes, and upgraded wheels and tires. A video was also seen detailing its prototype testing. However, we still have to wait for the German auto manufacturer to pull out the curtains and provide us with the full specifications. According to experts, that should happen some time in the middle of this year.
Pricing and Which trim is right for you?
M3: $68,000 (estimated)
M3 CS: $99,500 (estimated)
BMW is yet to announce the details about the next-gen M3, including what trim levels it will offer and how much it will cost. According to experts, it is safe to assume that the latest installment will cost slightly higher than the previous generation and offer an even higher-performance model. With that being said, it is safe to expect for a Competition package or trim and a track-centric version likely will follow.
Engine, Performance, Transmission
The new M3 will be powered by a 3.0-L twin-turbo inline-6 like its predecessors. However, it is not the same engine since the new BMW M3 will have a new S58 engine, which was launched in the X3 and X4 N. The basis for this engine is the regular BMW B58 straight-six that’s been here since 2015 which is known to power the new M340i and 5th-generation Toyota Supra. The S58 is reported to have a larger bore and shorter stroke than the B58, resulting in more revs. In the standard X3 and X4, the engine produces 473 horsepower and 442 lb-ft of torque, while the rival makes 503 horsepower and the same amount of torque. It expected that those numbers would be similar in the M3.
The Southern Germany based automaker has also confirmed that the M3 will come with a manual transmission and rear-wheel drive. In addition, the sedan will boast an automatic gearbox and all-wheel drive. Those beefy and engaging configurations will have a reinforced structure, other performance hardware, wider and stickier tires. The performance hardware should include a standard set of adaptive dampers, optional carbon-ceramic brakes, and an especially made equipment for the anticipated Competition variant.
On the inside, the M3 mirrors the regular 3 Series, but the front seats provide far more lateral support, the steering wheel is ultra-grippy and the instruments sport an M-specific style. The rear armrest that is standard on the regular 3 series is deleted on the M3, probably to reduce a few pounds.
The M3 will also offer BMW’s newest infotainment software, steering wheel (with Alcantantara as an option) and sports seats. M3 will also offer various upholstery configurations. And of course, expect the competition models to be slightly more appealing and dynamic aesthetically on the inside.
Other Things We Know So far
Manual Version Testing on Nurburgring
The latest M3 has been spotted testing during the industry test pool of Nurburgring. The prototype experienced delay in shifts.
Four-Wheel Drive Will Be Offered As an Option
In 2018 BMW R&D Head Klaus Frolich has stated that the next M3 would get a four-wheel drive system like that in the M5 and M8. That system provides a fully variable front axle completely for drifts and burnouts. The system known as BMW M xDrive, was created by M itself, and is relatively lightweight. This will be the very first M3 that will offer four-wheel drive, but unlike other M cars equipped with the system, it will only be available as an option.
A Torque Converter-Auto Will Replace the Dual Clutch
At present, all new BMW M cars (except the M2 and M4) use 8-speed torque converter automatics. BMW M boss Markus Flasch has confirmed that the next M3 will also go torque-converter which means the G80 will be the first M3 since the E360 to come with a traditional automatic.
A Sedan M3
Beginning with the E36 generation and continuing with the last 2 generations of M3, the iconic M car comes in three different body styles. As with the previous one, there’ll almost certainly be an M3 sedan, plus an M4 coupe and convertible.
Muted Engine Note
Expect the M3 to have a muted engine note but one that is still distinctly straight-6. The lack of volume is mainly due to the new European noise regulations. But you can expect the engine noise to be enhanced by the speakers of the car.
BMW M3 Will Have A Ludicrously Oversized Kidney Grilles
BMW gave a preview of the next generation 4-Series that has a big kidney grille. Both the M3 and M4 will also feature oversized grilles.
The drive-by-wire brake system is one of the M’s most recent technological charms. It will make its way to the BMW M3 pretty soon, though it was first introduced in the BMW M8. Same with all other drive-by-wire brake systems, it removes the mechanical link between the brake pedal and the calipers, handling it all electronically. The good thing about that is the addition of two brake models. So the BMW M3, like the M8, will have both comfort and Sport brake models.
Bespoke M3 Chassis
Even though the BMW M3 is based on the standard 3 series, it will not exactly have the same chassis as the 3 series. As a matter of fact, M engineers described the chassis of the M3 as being largely bespoke. According to experts, who recently had the chance to test drive a pre-production M3, BMW M says that the only parts of the chassis shared between the 3 Series and M3 are the pickup points for suspension. Everything else has been refashioned, upgraded and toughened for the M3-duty.
Test Drive Performance
The M3 was tested to let the powertrain and chassis work their magic in a racetrack. The engine fired up with a roar, and revved up freely. It never let off up to well over 7000 rpm. Test drivers found the transmission absolutely delightful. It has a top speed of 155 miles per hour and that limit can be exceeded to an optional 180 miles per hour. Car enthusiasts would absolutely love M3’s performance. There is no official data yet but 0 to 60 mph will most likely be significantly less than 4 seconds.
Moreover, during the test drive the M3’s steering proved to be accurate and predictable. There is virtually zero understeer. The prototype 2021 M3 along with the M4 enjoy being steered with the rear axle. On top of that, there are three modes that can satisfy every type of drive: a Sport setting, stability on and stability all off. This lets you enjoy some drifting and a beautifully agile driving experience.
An interesting fact is that while the engineers of BMW said that the 4 Series is designed to be more athletic than the 3 series, and is in fact stiffened, M GmbH performance division took a different approach: Their goal is to make the driving experience in the M3 and M4 to be similar as possible. So for the public to be reminded of how similar the two are, they will be sporting the same big nose.
Latest on the 2021 BMW M3
BMW will finally pull out the curtain for the highly anticipated G80 M3 on September 23rd.The much talked about sports sedan is currently being displayed behind doors around the world. And it is said that a BMWBLOG subscriber had the chance to see the car face to face. It was even reported in the past that the 2021 BMW M3 sedan will make use of the Isle of Man Green as the launch color.
Aside from the “old school” Alpine White, Davit Grey, Black Sapphire, Portimao Blue or Tanzanite Blue colors, there will also be an Isle of Man Green, Toronto Red, and Sao Paolo Yellow. The Toronto Red has already been seen on the new BMW X4 M. The 2021 BMW M4 Coupe (G82) will launch with the Sao Paolo Yellow color variant.
It was not a big surprise when the Isle of Man Green was used as the launch color. At the Los Angeles Auto Show, last fall, BMW’s Head of Design, Domagoj Dukec was interviewed. At that time, he was standing in front of a BMW M8 Gran Coupe First Edition which was also painted in a stunning green color—Aurora Diamant Green Metallic.
Isle of Man Green BMW F80 M3
Dukec mentioned during an interview that the future green paintwork is going to be a part of BMW’s portfolio, including the M products. After a year, the remarkable Isle of Man Green lands on the G80 M3. With the 2021 BMW M3 in mind, the car displayed behind closed doors was the Competition model with black wheels and a carbon fiber package. It came with a set of carbon fiber bucket seats with the seat backs also made of carbon fiber. In addition, the typical M bits around the dashboard and center console were also present. The optional laser headlights were present as well. One interesting piece is that the new M3’s carbon fiber also boasts roof-rack inserts. The power dome on the hood is also missing.
The large kidney grille is still unchanged and was painted in black. There was even an information from a trusted source saying that the blacked out kidneys were done on the request of U.S. BMW dealers. There were even numerous leaks in the last year. So the overall style and design of the new M3 and M4 are hardly a surprise. We are still looking forward to finally seeing the car through a proper photoshoot or auto show though.