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The president of BMW North America has confirmed the all-new BMW M3 will be powered by a turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine.

In an interview with BMW-enthusiast blog BimmerPost, Ludwig Willisch confirmed the next-generation M3 would get its power from a boosted inline-six, dropping the current model’s V8 and ending suggestions of a turbocharged V6.

Willisch admitted a V6 was seriously considered but ultimately ruled it out in favour of a more traditional configuration.

The big question now remains how many turbochargers BMW will bolt to the new powerplant. Two is understood to be the minimum under consideration, while three turbos – which would match the new 3.0-litre 50d diesel engine in the M Performance models – is also believed to be a possibility.

International reports suggest the engine will produce approximately 335kW of power, up almost 10 per cent from the current model, and will continue to be offered with the choice of an automatic or manual transmission.

As expected, the new M3 will be faster, lighter and more fuel efficient than the model it replaces when it launches, which is tipped to be at the end of next year or early in 2014.

While the M3 badge will continue to feature on the F30-based sedan variant, it is widely expected the Coupe and Convertible models will be part of the rebranded 4-Series line-up, and will feature M4 badges as a result.

  • Fi2

    Isn’t the current 335i a turbocharged I-6? Hahahaa what a joke, so the new M3 is gonna be the same as the current 335i

    And BMW going V6.. Shame they didn’t because a V6 is superior to the ancient I-6

    • theillestlife

       what part of “As expected, the new M3 will be faster, lighter and more fuel efficient than the model it replaces” don’t you understand?

      clearly downsizing the engine does not mean it will be less powerful. And i doubt it HIGHLY that the new M3’s I6 turbo will be the same as the 335i of the outgoing model.

    • John Mc

      The I6 is the simplest naturally balanced configuration, resulting in a smoother, easier spinning and potentially lighter engine. The only advantage of the V6 is a space saving in the engine bay and potentially better facilitation of crash protection in the body design. It would seem to me that car enthusiasts would prefer the I6. I definitely would prefer a well designed, tractable and easy spinning engine to which the I6 configuration lends itself.

      • F1

        The only valid point is the self balancing..

        A V6 will be more powerful because a shorter, stiffer lighter crank allowing higher revs, and less frictional power losses due to fewer main bearings.

        Over-square is also better since it allows engine to breathe better, less friction & allows the engine to rev faster..

        • John Mc

          The only valid points are the stiffer crank and potentially fewer main bearings.

          The advantage of fewer main bearings on the crank is at least partially negated if you are using balancing shafts on your V6.The lighter crank of the shorter V6 is offset by the necessary extra weight required to balance the V6 engine. The extra weight has to be dynamic weight and negates any advantage in terms of revs.

          Oversquare is better (unless it’s solely torque you are after) but an I6 can also be oversquare, y’know.

        • Tom

          Actually, square is said to be the perfect configuration.

          • Sydlocal

            Tom, the perfect configuration depends on what you want out of the engine, the characteristics you are after and how much room there is under the bonnet. If square was meant to be perfect, then why isn’t everyone using it? Conventional thinking is that if you want power, you need rpm which means you have a short stroke engine. If you want torque you go for a long stroke engine. However these days with DI and Turbos, you can go a short stroke engine to get the higher end power and the turbo runs at a higher boost due to the DI which allows you to get back that torque you lost because of the shorter stroke. For example the Ford 2L ecoboost in the Falcon is an oversquare engine.

            It is not as simple as just saying square is the perfect configuration, there are too many other factors in play.

    • tonyW

      BMW’s current N55 35i engine is a twin-scroll single turbo engine. As the article mentioned they are talking of at least two turbos for the I6.

    • JamesB

      Where in the world did you deduce a V6 being superior to a straight-6? And you call BMW engines ancient? Where most manufacturers are in engine technology now, BMW were years ago. It’s better to shut up than post false comments you know.

    • Sydlocal

      Please tell me Fi2, what is so “ancient” about BMW’s current I-6? 

    • Mr D

      Porsche inline 6. Enough said.

  • JD

    a BMW M3 or FPV F6 …. 

    • Nbv

      FPV F6 is the better car.

      BMW & the idiots who own 10yrs old civics are the same in thay all they do is add more turbochargers.. NO CLASS WHAT SO EVER BMW

      • theillestlife

         if you haven’t noticed. the FPV F6 is also turbocharged. gtfo.

      • JamesB

        You are such a moron, Nbv. Try driving the M3 and your F6 at 200 kph. You’d feel the FPV’s components might fall apart, but the BMW won’t even break a sweat. Oh wait, idiots can’t drive that fast, so don’t even dare.

        • Andy

          Haha you have no idea, trust me the F6 can do alot faster than 200kph, and very easily…

      • Tom

        …. What a moronic comment. It’s not about “class”. It’s about advancing technology and improving the car…

  • AndyGF

    Most bigger engined and many much more powerful cars (some even from BMW’s own stable) battle to better the 335i… especially in terms of ‘real-world’ everyday performance, the 225kw I6 feels more like a 300kw normally aspirated engine, and sounds better too. So just imagine what a 335kw version will do, in a car with similar, if not waay better characteristics (thanks to M tweaks in suspension and chassis etc).

    Anybody who thinks their geriatric NA V6 depression pack stands any chance against any BMW twin-power engines can do so ONLY by quoting ‘claimed’ figures and re-iterating engine nomenclatures… cause when it comes time to actually part with your money, and you skip over a test drive of a 335, you are just not being honest with yourself.

    • F1

      Lexus IS350 233KW from 3.5L V6

      That’s an engine 2GR-FSE

      • Owler

        yeah the 2GR-FSE doesn’t have the torque of the N54.
        (377Nm vs 400-450Nm). And being N/A I imagie the Toyota engine peaks a fair bit higher. 

        • hhh

          The Lexus engine also guzzles %20 more fuel. The latest BMW update for their engine has debuted in the 640i and sees the gap increase to %30.

        • tonyW

          The BMW N54 is the old twin-turbo I6. The current turbo I6 is the N55 which is a single turbo with a twin scroll.

        • F1

          But it being NA it proves that it is an impressive engine..

          And it the 335i only has 400Nm not 450Nm..

          Bit that is not a problem because a transmission mitigates that issue..

          The IS350 is quicker then 335i from 0-100Km and in reality both use same amount of fuel anyway..

          • hhh

            Please see the current (June) edition of Motor magazine for a direct comparison

            The 335i ran 0-100kmh in 5.81 secs, IS350 took 6.17. At the 160kmh the BMW had stretched the gap to a full second.
            The 335i also used less fuel on the road test. The 335i also uses less fuel on the ADR test.

            The latest update for this BMW engine has seen torque grow to 450NM – though so far this update has only made it into the 6 series. In the meantime, the 400NM in the 335i is still more than the IS350 plus with a manual gearbox option in the 335i (as opposed to no manual at all in IS350) or a 8 speed auto (as opposed to 6 in the IS350), the torque is even further “mitigated” in the BMW – as well as having more torque to start with anyway.

          • G10101

            Yes your dead right the beauty about turbo engines they loved to be tuned as i own a 335i M-SPORT coupe the 335 is so detuned a $800 tune brings the power to 400bhp and the torque to around 600nm and is a monster
            So the new turbo m3 tuned will be a monster.

    • tonyW

      And Volvo’s 3 litre I6 turbo is 224 kw in standard tune and 242 kW with the optional Polestar tune.

    • Tom

      Fair point. I looked at those power figures and was a little disappointed. Still, less than 350kW is leaving it a little behind…. but they might have to sacrifice driveability and linearity to hit those figures and that’s not the BMW way.

  • Daniel

    I don’t really mind what engine they put in it, BMW seem to be releasing class leader after class leader at the moment, so I trust them. My biggest question will be, what’s the deal with all this 4 Series stuff? Does it mean we’re no longer going to have an M3 Coupe if the coupe will be a 4 Series? Because that can’t be!

    • Ben

      It would have made better sense if they brought out the 4 doors as the 4 series, and then released the 2 doors as the 3 series I think.

  • john

    The latest M5 (possibly latest M3) is more efficient, powerful, economical, faster and more high tech than the model it replaces. I however prefer the V10 M5 for one reason and that is it’s bespoke M engine. You can be assured no other Beemer in the range has that under the hood and the current M3 has it’s own bespoke M V8. Sure the next M3 will probably have a bespoke engine too but I am not a fan of forced induction M cars. I understand why they have to go down that route because forced induction allows them to balance out the power vs economy equation far better than N/A could ever hope to do, but I personally don’t like it. At the moment I am currently looking at used V10 M5’s because I have always wanted one, and now a decent model can be nabbed for under $100k!

    • Tom

      Turbo’s make it easier. I totally agree. There’s no beautiful ITB set-ups, etc. No one understands just how stunning the engineering is that goes into an M engine over a normal BMW engine, its far more than the stats. I think they’re starting to cut corners now they have turbo’s. It’s become much easier to pull power and the soul of the M car is suffering for it.

    • Roadtard

      John, not only is the ten-cylinder engine more special, but Chris Bangle’s controversial flame-surfaced design is more significant and actually looks better than the new shape, which looks bloated in comparison.  Good luck with your hunt!

      • JamesB

        But the V10 is hopelessly guzzling fuel, in fact more than similarly performing cars. BMW were expected to be efficiency leaders but the opposite happened with the previous M5 and M6.

  • Mr McKenzie

    Nbv can’t recall FPV winning any International Engine of the year awards

  • Barry

    Good point Robin.Lets not put VW in the same league as BMW.