The next BMW M3 will be lighter and more powerful as standard than even the current M3 CS lightweight special, according to the latest reports, and it’ll still have a manual gearbox.
The 2020 M3 will use a carbonfibre roof and the latest weight-shedding chassis architecture swiped from the 5 and 7 Series, then downsized to fit. It means that the cooking-spec M3 will tip the scales at less than the F80 M3 CS’s 1585kg.
We can expect the 2020 car to be seriously quick. Power is said to be starting at 465bhp; 11bhp higher than today’s M3 CS manages potentially thanks to the use of the water injection system already seen on the M4 GTS – although tricky packaging for the water tank could reportedly scupper that idea.
A six-ratio manual gearbox is still planned as the default fitment. Naturally, though, BMW’s excellent eight-speed automatic will be on the options list and will bring about a drop in the car’s acceleration figures. For reference, the current (auto-only) M3 CS hits 62mph in 3.7 seconds.
While it won’t get any sort of four-wheel drive, carbon chassis core or hybridisation because of cost, it could benefit from active rear-wheel steering. Autocar suggests that BMW is thinking about plumbing the M5’s into the M3 as an extra USP over and above all other 3 Series models.
It will be longer by 60mm, but only 20mm of that will slot into the wheelbase, says the British magazine. That suggests a larger crash safety zone at the front, or perhaps extra room for sensors and other safety system hardware. We’ll know more in the next 12 months, and the info can’t come soon enough.