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.