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Next Generation BMW M3 to Get Turbo-6

Single-turbo V6 a possibility

 |  Mar 19 2009, 11:41 AM

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The next generation BMW M3 will be powered by a turbocharged six-cylinder engine, says Ludwig Willisch, the man in charge of BMW’s M division. But there’s more to the story than that, according to an article on MotorTrend.com after staff of the magazine sat down with Willisch and other journalists in Munich.

For starters the engine will not be the same twin-turbo inline-six found in the current 335i. In fact, it might not be a twin-turbo at all. Even more shocking, it might not be an inline-six. That’s right, BMW is currently looking at the possibility of using a V6 for the next M3.

While the BMW faithful will abhor the idea (like they did with the amazing V8 that powers the current M3), a V6 would allow for the engine to be located in a more central position in the car. Unfortunately, it would most likely be heavier.

Interestingly Willisch defied convention by stating that the next generation M3 wouldn’t necessarily have to be more powerful, so long as it was lighter. And BMW intends to focus on decreasing the weight of their vehicles across the board.

The discussion also raised the possibility of an M for the 1 Series, and while it won’t be called an M, BMW is planning a high-performance version of the second generation 1 Series. It will, says Willisch, be more in line with one of the most iconic BMW’s of all time, the E30 (the original) M – sort of.

By today’s standards this high performance 1 Series will be light with a curb weight of 2,860 lbs – which is still a significantly larger number than the roughly 3,200-lb curb weight of the E30. Willisch said that BMW engineers are currently working on a twin-turbo four-cylinder engine to power such a car, but noted that with the weight it would still need at least 300hp in order to be an ideal package.

As for when these new cars will come out, both models are slated for 2014, so expect concept cars and pre-production models throughout 2013.

With all this talk about turbos for the new M3, we shouldn’t forget that with the new 5 Series and 6 Series due out next year as 2011 models, the following year will bring M versions of those cars – and you can be sure the V10 is a thing of the past.

In related news, stay tuned for our coverage from the New York Auto Show starting April 8th, as BMW plans to take the wraps of its M version of the X6.

[Source: Motor Trend]


  • Dracoleb

    It would be sad to see BMW move away from the straight-6. It’s such a smooth and nice sounding powerplant. BTW I’m guessing that a 3200lbs E30 is a typo, or one fitted with the optional lead sheilding package.

  • VaNyA

    Its already Sad, Starting with there M3 V-8 that gets beat by
    Any C-Class and up, On top of that there think of keeping it week, reducing weight and adding turbos. What the hell is going on over there. It feels like there just saying to one another, Lets not put money it to developing high performance Natural aspired engine that will be powerful, efficient and fast like there previous Model M3 3.2L 333HP no turbos Destroys everything in its path. Of course they don’t want to make the car more power then the M5, So y don’t you make the M5 more powerful and then you can raise the power of the M3. Benz right now beats any BMW in its class, And that plan sucks, BMW is the performance car, So y don’t you start preforming because there cars are heavier and they still KICK YOUR A**. Commenting all that nonsense about making it lighter, MAKE IT FASTER!!! You turned the 3 series sedan into a girls car, Thats great THE ULTIMATE DRIVING MACHINE FOR CHICKS. Lets sacrifice Quality for Quantity, maybe girls took over. Ive been the Biggest fan of BMW Sense 1996, When i drove one, loved them sense then. Now i feel they spend more time on youtube then On there cars, Then only thing that is keeping me from changing Makes of cars is The 335i which is very nice car and the M5 still has some Jazz. I hope this comment will be read by one of those Guys there. Plz Put the damn Windows buttons back where they belong, IN THE MIDDLE!!!!

  • CMyers

    Inline 6 with single ball bearing turbo, under 3200 lbs, please! -98 M3 owner

  • Bandile

    I mean what was point of them building a V8 for the E92/E93 if they gona go bak to straight 6 or V6 engines? Even worse an M3 with turbo’s, wtf? Heard the new M5 nd M6 wil b using the same powerplant found in the X5M/X6M. The next generation RS4 is packing up alot of grunt, a V8 with 336kw nd a twin turbo! Im a BMW lover especialy M3 bt gud luck BMW in beatin ths RS4 with a straight 6!

  • Adriaan

    The current M3 is 5.5 seconds a lap faster than a C63AMG and almost 6 seconds a lap faster than the previous RS4. Yes the C63AMG is quicker of the line, but come on 5.5 seconds haha. I dont think we have to worry. The M guys won’t dissapoint. If the new M3 engine is based on a twin turbo straight six, then I can promise you the Audis and the Mercs can watch out. My dad has a 335i, and it kicks ass and is light on gas all round. And when has the M guys ever dissapointed? And using the twin-turbo V8 from the X5-M and X6-M for the new M5 and M6 will be a very good choice. Just check the specs on the X5-M, and it is a SUV. Would like to hear more on this topic.