As we reported earlier this year, the current E90/E92 BMW M3 will be the last of the naturally aspirated M cars, and if recent rumors are to be believed, BMW will adapt the single-turbo N55 inline-six for duty in our favorite 3 Series. But how many turbos?

Some reports indicate two, while others say three (two traditional snails and an electric turbo). But no matter the configuration, expect output to be up over 450 horsepower and torque to swell to nearly 400 pound-feet.

Regardless of what's under the hood, development of the next M3 is well underway in Germany as BMW gears up for the release of the standard 3 Series successor.

This first batch of M3 spy shots don't show much aside from blacked-out 19-inch wheels, a widened body sans hood bulge and quartet of exhaust pipes. Stylistically, the next 3er is set to take cues from the recently revealed i brand, including new "angle eye" LED daytime running lamps that are flat on the top and bottom, and fitted to a more upright, angular fascia.

The fully redesigned 3 is set to debut later this year, with sales beginning in early 2012. As for the M3, don't expect it to hit until 2013 as a 2014 model.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 57 Comments
      MONTEGOD7SS
      • 3 Years Ago
      Hate to be a nit-picker...well, no I don't. Specifically a turbocharger is a compressor driven by exhaust gases, while a supercharger is a compressor driven by an engine. By definition, this "electric turbocharger", is actually an electric supercharger.
      tributetodrive
      • 3 Years Ago
      I for one will miss the N/A v8
        • 3 Years Ago
        @tributetodrive
        [blocked]
      The Law
      • 3 Years Ago
      This most likely going to be a 2013 model considering that their testing it right now.
      Justin Campanale
      • 3 Years Ago
      Kudos to BMW for bringing the M3 back to its roots.
        Stefan
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Justin Campanale
        Roots? At one point, M division was quoted saying "we will never build a turbocharged car".
          Adrian
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Stefan
          And then oil went above $100 a barrel. I'd state that the V8 and the torque-lacking V10 made even less sense. While I like NA engines as well, turbocharging has come a long way and BMW has shown they can do it well.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Justin Campanale
        [blocked]
          • 3 Years Ago
          [blocked]
          Trevor
          • 3 Years Ago
          @ vwfailsagain...... Keep talking loser, who knows, someday you may actually say something intelligent.
          ryan
          • 3 Years Ago
          vwfailagain are u gay for justin campanale or what?
        Evan McMiller
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Justin Campanale
        Wow...were you born yesterday? First M3 had an NA four. Hardly roots here.
        Synderesis
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Justin Campanale
        Except the original M3 only had 4 cylinders, wasn't turboed, and didn't weigh a billion pounds
      • 3 Years Ago
      Since when is an M3 a sedan?
        jonnybimmer
        • 3 Years Ago
        There have been 2 generations of M3 Sedans, the E36 and the E9x (E90 for the sedan). Even the though other M3 generations, the E30 & E46, are coupes, their chassis's are based on a sedan platform. I look forward to what the following generation M models will look like and their blistering performance, but the current gen M3 marks the last one I'd personally want as it'll be the last NA M model as far as we can tell. It's a shame, but I understand there just isn't any argument for the performance modern day turbo motors can produce.
          kcroc10077
          • 3 Years Ago
          @jonnybimmer
          I've got to agree with you but I wouldn't want to be one the early buyers (aka beta testers) of this car. The previous generation with the NA V-8 is definitely the way to go. Hopefully BWW will have their high pressure fuel pump issues corrected (have they identified and told customers why they're failing). I'm sure this is going to be a great car but extra complexity is never a good thing. Like I said. I won't be an early adapter.
          beigepants
          • 3 Years Ago
          @jonnybimmer
          The E30 was a two door sedan/saloon, as was the E21 before that. The (non M3) two door was priced below that of the four door. It was with the E36 generation that the two door 3-sries first became a coupe and was priced as a premium to the four door. Thus: E30 M3 = 2 door sedan, convertible M36 M3 = coupe, four door sedan and convertible E46 M3 = coupe, convertible E90, 92 and 93 Ms = four door sedan, coupe and convertible respectively
        torqued
        • 3 Years Ago
        Um, I'm not a BMW guy but I'd say since 1986?
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        Adrian
        • 3 Years Ago
        Amen to that. The 335i is great, but I don't know if I'd buy one used due to the HPFP.
          Ak74
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Adrian
          my family owned three 335i's non had this problem.
          vacantlot3423
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Adrian
          i have an 08 335... after the recall (replace HPFP, injectors, etc) and also had my LPFP replaced with the software update, i've had no problems with my 335... and i live in boston with 5 degree weather
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Adrian
          [blocked]
      Rotation
      • 3 Years Ago
      450HP sounds like a lot for a turbo 3.0L six from BMW (or really anyone). They have been battling lag and unreliability at 100HP/liter, I don't think I'd want to be first in line to buy a 150HP/liter engine from BMW. I also just cannot comprehend the ridiculousness of 3 turbos on inline six. One is the optimal number. Any extra is more stuff to pay for, more stuff to break.
      rmkensington
      • 3 Years Ago
      They are either going to have to up the HP more or make the car lighter. Getting matched in performance by a solid axle mustang really makes you look bad, not to mention the mustang costs a lot less in maintanence.
      matt
      • 3 Years Ago
      I thought the next M3 was only going to be a coupe?
        Stefan
        • 3 Years Ago
        @matt
        There is a vert, 4-door, and GT planned according to insiders. They may go by a 4-series nomenclature though.
      You guy
      • 3 Years Ago
      Yay for the M3 Sedan! Always was my favorite.
      KaiserWilhelm
      • 3 Years Ago
      With all that torque this thing should destroy the current model. Probably won't sound as cool, but I'll take another 100+ lb.ft
      Easy_Eight
      • 3 Years Ago
      At least it's an I6
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