The next BMW M3 will toss it’s naturally aspirated V8 in favor of a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six. This news comes from a report by Automobile Magazine, with plenty of other insight into the next generation 3 Series – code named F30. But before we get to that… back to the M3. Likely not due out until at least 2013, the M3 will get a bump in power from the current 420 ponies to around 450. And because it’s turbocharged, we can expect a significant increase in torque.
As for the standard 3 Series, it’s due in 2012 and will be offered with five body styles. The usual sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon will continue on and BMW will add a Gran Turismo hatchback model, much like with the current 5 Series. The 3 Series GT, however, will be targeted more towards sport than luxury. Automobile claims the 3 Series sedan will be less dramatic looking, while the coupe will get completely different sheetmetal that’s more dynamic looking.
In terms of engines we don’t have much into about powerplants for North America, but in Europe the F30 3 Series will come with more powerful versions of the current 1.6-liter and 2.0-liter gasoline engines and two more powerful diesel engines. Automobile claims the 2.0-liter 4-cylinder will make 252-hp, which might make it powerful enough to be the base engine in the 3 Series.
In unconfirmed news, BMW is also considering two other models. The first is a three-door hatchback (often called a “shooting brake”). The second is a Speedster model, using a soft top convertible roof rather than a hard-top, to keep weight to a minimum. This would likely be built by BMW’s M division.