What It Is:
The latest in a long line of M3s to provide sports-car performance in a cop-duping wrapper. This will be BMW’s most powerful M3 yet.
Why It Matters:
It’s the bestselling M-badged car and crucial to the health and future of the M division.
The next M3 is based on the new F30 platform, a rear- and all-wheel-drive design that is slightly larger than the E90 platform it replaces. Compared with the standard 3-series, the M3 will have wider front and rear tracks and a heavily modified chassis. We expect a four-door sedan, a two-door coupe, and a retractable-hardtop convertible.
The high-revving V-8 of the current M3 will be replaced with an inline-six boosted with two turbos and (possibly) one electrically driven supercharger. Expect about 450 horsepower. BMW will offer a six-speed manual and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic; the M3 will remain rear-wheel drive.
Audi RS4, Cadillac ATS-V, Lexus IS F, Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG.
What Might Go Wrong:
Old-school M fans will lament the absence of a high-revving naturally aspirated engine. Then, when this car is eventually replaced, people will lament the possible loss of the innovative three-blower engine.
Estimated Arrival and Price:
Late 2013, priced at about $60,000.