We can finally confirm that the next generation M3 (F80 / F82) will be powered by an inline 6 cylinder engine. We spoke to the President of BMW North America, Mr. Ludwig Willisch, at a current BMW event and he has officially confirmed that the next generation M3′s engine will indeed feature an inline 6 layout and not a V6.
Until now, there has been no official confirmation (nor denial) from BMW on whether the F80 sedan and F82 coupe’s motor would feature an I6 or rumored V6 configuration (although it’s been all but a foregone conclusion that it will utilize forced induction by way of turbos).
Mr. Willisch added that a V6 configuration was previously considered (including whether a motor based on the current M3′s S65 engine minus two cylinders was appropriate), but ultimately ruled out.
Whether the F80 M3′s inline 6 will feature two or three turbos remains to be seen. An earlier BMW filed turbo patent shows that the company has developed (or is developing) electric turbo technology; so a bi-turbo or tri-turbo inline 6 engine could possibly see the implementation of one or more electric turbos. However many turbos is ultimately decided upon by BMW, we think that its power figure may be somewhere in the ballpark of 450 HP.
Despite the next M3 sedan being at least 1.5 to 2 years away, we now know the following. It will be:
- Lighter than current M3
- Faster than current M3
- More powerful than current M3
- More efficient than current M3
- Powered by an inline 6 cylinder [turbo] engine
- Offered with optional or standard manual transmission (if previous spy photos are any indication)
- Introduced no earlier than late 2013 – early 2014
Follow all our F80 M3 / F82 M4 news at http://www.bimmerpost.com/m3/f30m3/