BMW M3 CRT – Click above for high-res image gallery

The BMW M3 has grown cylinders over the years like a pubescent pre-teen grows in height. What started out with an inline-four then grew into a straight-six for two generations before packing a V8 into the current model. The next one is expected to set to drop a couple of combustion chambers and go back to a single bank, but don't think for one minute that'll mean a drop in performance.

According to the rumormongers at AutoExpress, the next-generation M3, due sometime around 2014 after the new 3 Series comes along, will pack – wait for it – a triple-turbo straight-six. The innovative arrangement will reportedly include two conventional spools powered off exhaust gases and a third electric turbocharger. Total output could be around 450 horsepower – a bump over the current V8 model's 414 hp – with even more carbon fiber bits than the CRT edition pictured above to help keep weight down.

Not exciting enough? BMW's M division has plenty more in the cards, potentially including an oft-rumored new M1 supercar and, once the 1 Series M Coupe is done its production run, a lightweight CSL version. An M version of the Z4 is also under consideration, but of course nothing final until the cars make their debuts.

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