The car won't go on sale until the middle of next year in the States, but we have a seemingly insatiable appetite for any information about BMW's 4th generation M3. Spy photos, technical tidbits, rumors, and whatnot have all been featured on this site, but now we have the real deal. Finally. The folks at AutoWeek just broke their article on this newest M3 and the overall opinion seems to match our expectations and alleviate our concerns at the same time. And the car is coming none too soon. With the new Mercedes-Benz CLK63 Black Series and the Audi RS5 set to debut in the near future as well, BMW needs its best and brightest on the front line.
As tends to be true of virtually every model on the market, the new M3 has grown up a bit in the evolution from E46 to E92. More GT than boy racer, it should still provide plenty of thrills for drivers. In place of the smooth-revving 3.2-liter straight-six goes a 30-pound-lighter, 4.0-liter V8 that is essentially a sawed-off M5 V10. It features an aluminum block, magnesium cam covers and aluminum-silicon alloy in the crankcase and produces 420 hp at 8300 rpm, and 295 lb-ft at 3900 rpm. Redline is at 8400, and AW promises a sound that is at least as sweet as the outgoing six, but with an added heft at the low end thanks to the extra two cylinders. All of that power is routed through a proper 6-speed stick too. Are those angels we hear singing?
The new M3 also features every gadget BMW could fit it with. Regenerative braking, ABS, ASC, CBC and DSC among other technology will help keep this M well-planted but will still allow it to get a little wild from time to time. AW also hints that we might see a double-clutch gearbox fairly soon after the stick, because BMW doesn't seem to be talking about any DSG sequential-manual gearbox option this go-around. BMW projects the 0-62 at 4.8 sec, which seems a bit conservative to us, but these were never really intended to be drag racers.
Expect to see convertible, sedan and even possibly wagon versions down the road, with the convertible using an aluminum hard top in place of the hardtop's carbon fiber roof, in all likelihood. Click over to AutoWeek for more details about this highly anticipated new BMW.