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New 2020 BMW M3: prices, specs and launch date

BMW’s sixth-generation M3 saloon will make its debut towards the end of the year, with a 510bhp straight-six engine and all-wheel drive

BMW is readying up to launch the next M3 super saloon in the second half of this year. The next iteration of the brand’s iconic performance four-door looks set to undergo a comprehensive mechanical overhaul for its sixth generation, making the shift from rear-wheel to all-wheel drive for the first time – and our exclusive images preview how the new model could look.

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When it reaches the UK market, the new BMW M3 will face-off against a strong roster of compact, performance-focussed saloons and estates, including the Mercedes-AMG C 63, Audi RS 4 Avant and Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrofoglio. Here’s what we know so far.

New 2020 BMW M3: Engine and drivetrain

The new BMW M3 will be powered by the M-division’s latest 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged straight-six petrol engine. Codenamed S58, the engine made its debut in the X3 M and X4 M performance SUV duo, with a redline of 7,200rpm.

Like those cars, it will be offered in two states of tune. Entry level models will develop 473bhp, while the more powerful “Competition” flagship will produce 503bhp. It is likely that BMW will only sell the 503bhp Competition variant in the UK, with prices likely to start at around £65,000.

Like the firm’s recently-updated M5, BMW will fit the M3 with a selectable four-wheel-drive system, allowing the driver to send all of the engine’s power to the rear wheels. The set-up is offered to compete with rivals such as the Mercedes-AMG C 63 and the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrofoglio, both of which are exclusively rear-wheel drive.

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New 2020 BMW M3: Design and interior

As shown by our exclusive images, we anticipated that visual revisions designed to mark the M3 out against M-Sport versions of the normal 3 Series will be fairly subtle. The most obvious differences will be a widened track, flared wheel arches, a boot-mounted lip spoiler, an aggressive front bumper and a quad-tipped exhaust set-up.

In the new M3’s cabin BMW will implement its latest dashboard and centre console design from the new 3 Series. The interior rethink focuses on reducing the button count, with the majority of the car’s functions being controlled by the fresh iDrive 7.0 infotainment system. Some small touches, such as M-badges, carbon trim, sports seats, and red ‘M’ button drive mode selectors on the steering wheel will mark out the M3 model. 

New 2020 BMW M3: Chassis and suspension

The latest M3 should also be lighter and more agile than the previous-generation model thanks to the adoption of BMW’s new CLAR platform. BMW’s M division chief, Carsten Piers, told Auto Express: “We are aware there is a large fanbase for M cars around the world and we will do all we can to excite them and everything we can do not to disappoint them.”

M-division’s engineers will get their hands on the new stroke-dependent damper technology employed on regular versions of the latest 3 Series, and in tandem with a wider track, will look to develop a new, bespoke adaptive suspension system for the next M3. 

What do you think of our exclusive BMW M3 images? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below...

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