You’re looking at the first image of BMW’s G80 M3 to leak online, offering an early glimpse of the 500hp+ model’s new back end several months before its anticipated reveal. While the view is obviously limited, it shows the sort of modifications we’d expect from the part-time rear-drive saloon, including a quad-exit exhaust system, large rear diffuser and muscular bumpers. BMW isn’t set to launch its new C63 rival until next year, so we’re probably looking at a pre-production car – much like the one our spy snapper caught hammering around the ‘Ring in recent months.
Like those test mules, the visible differences between this M3 and, say, the M340i, don’t look too significant, partly thanks to the inherent baseline of aggression instilled in this latest 3 Series’ design. Although we should probably hold judgement for now as it’s clearly not a finished car – the diffuser lacks the top layer, for example. And without a wider view to see the inevitably bigger wheels, extended side skirts and (we hope) bonnet bulge, those earlier spy pictures still offer the most useful visual guide to where the G80 M3 is ultimately headed.
BMW has already confirmed that it will be getting an M5-mimicking all-wheel drive system, which will be all-wheel drive by default but switchable to rear-drive at the touch of a button. We also know through information leaks that three versions of the car are due, with the top Competition version providing an anticipated headline output of 510hp from the turbocharged S58 straight-six. Potentially more exciting is the rumoured Pure entry-model, which’ll be both cheaper and exclusively rear-wheel drive.
Original story - 05.08.2019
Any BMW M3 news is big news on PistonHeads - there are dozens of owners on here, the cars remain top searches on the classifieds, and they make great feature fodder, too. It's the archetypal BMW M car, so big changes are treated with some suspicion, as in the outgoing version using a turbocharged engine. But those concerns have stretched back more than a quarter of a century, to when the E36 M3 switched homologation hardcore for straight-six silkiness, and the car made it through that, so all-wheel drive shouldn't be a problem...
That's right, the star of a thousand cornering shots will now feature four driven wheels. That's according to Car Magazine, which has interviewed M Division boss Markus Flasch. "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." So there. However, given how clever the larger car's M xDrive system has proved itself, delivering damn near all the benefits of four- and rear-wheel drive, that shouldn't be considered too treacherous a move.
Especially so as, for the truly committed, the much-rumoured manual, rear-wheel drive Pure M3 will be offered, also confirmed by Flasch. Power for that car hasn't been confirmed; the regular M3 will mimic the Mercedes-AMG C63 line-up with two power outputs - the new S58 straight-six will have 510hp in Competition form (as in the X3 M, and matching exactly the C63 S), or 480hp as standard.
With this sort of key information being revealed about the G80 M3 by the big boss, a full reveal can't be far off, especially with the standard 3 Series now well established. The last F80 car was shown at the Detroit show in 2014 ahead of a drive four months later; with that expo now moved into the summer months, next month's Frankfurt show might make the most sense for a debut. After all, the German manufacturers will often try to outdo each other at the home events, and nothing quite grabs the attention like a new M3. More news as we have it!