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Details are surfacing on the next-generation BMW M3, as we continue to wonder whether or not it’ll be offered with a manual transmission. It’s starting to appear that the sedan M3 model will be available with a dual-clutch transmission only, while the coupe M4 will probably see a manual option.
Yes, the era of the naturally aspirated M cars is over, reports Autoblog. Currently the only NA model left in the M lineup is the high-performance 3 Series and it will be the last non-turbo M car claims a source inside BMW.
In the hunt for extra power, turbos can add thrust easily and recent innovations to eliminate turbo lag has significantly improved the driving feel. Plus, turbos can deliver those big performance numbers without the same level of environmental impact.
We’d be hard-pressed to turn down more power, but there’s nothing like the feel of an NA motor under your right foot. When production on the current M3 finally does end, we’ll be sure to pour out a hefeweizen on the nearest apex we can find.
GALLERY: BMW M3 GTS
Single-turbo V6 a possibility
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]