Six months, 26 days. That's the countdown until we get our first live, in-person look at the next iteration of the BMW M3, according to AutoWeek.

The F80 M3 will be appear on the BMW stand at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show in "lightly veiled concept" form, according to the report, with the production car bowing at the Frankfurt show next fall. The performance sedan won't go on sale until the end of 2013 here in the U.S., with coupe and convertible versions and one of BMW's odd Gran Coupe models following in later years.

AutoWeek says the M3 will be a mix of steel with some aluminum body panels, powered by a turbocharged inline-six making about 450 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of torque. Although rumors of a 3.3-liter V6 based on BMW's larger V8 engine persist, the more shocking speculation involves the gearbox, which is said to be a dual-clutch with seven speeds. That's right, no manual transmission will be offered, according to the report.

Of course, BMW has attempted to make that move before with the M5. Fortunately, enough complaints from American customers caused the company to change its mind. So, car guy purists, start your grousing now, as the clock is already ticking.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 54 Comments
      Shinkaze
      • 2 Years Ago
      I owned an E46 M3, sold it for an E90 M3 that I had on order. When I saw how much the WEIGHT and PRICE of the M3 had grown I found it comparable to better performing more feature rich Porsche and Nissan GT-R. So I canceled my E90 order and chose the Nissan GT-R (which in 2009 wasn't that much more than a fully optioned M3). I am fully satisfied with not choosing the BMW at that time. After having the Nissan for a number of years I would go back to BMW if they brought in a driving experience akin to a 996 GT3. Les performance true, but more of a pure driving experience. (lighter weight more driving engagement) It's now less about power for me and more about fun in street conditions and a DCT style tranny is all the fun of an automatic, meaning not. If your car is going to be slower than similar priced GT cars at least make it more fun to drive. PS I am not saying the GT-R isn't fun to drive, it's far more practical than a GT3 (more roomy, bigger trunk, easier in traffic, yadda yadda) But the M3 is going to have to consider these sorts of competitors and it appears that BMW is making the M3 bigger, fatter and less engaging in each generation. My biased opinion of course, but I hope BMW considers it as a past and possibly future buyer of their product.
      robespierex
      • 2 Years Ago
      No manual :"( Those are little tears coming from my eye there.
      MPowerF1
      • 2 Years Ago
      The F80 with have a manual. "The M3 needs to have a stick shift. It will always have a stick shift." http://www.insideline.com/bmw/m5/bmw-official-says-no-manual-transmission-for-next-m5.html
        quackmanquackman
        • 2 Years Ago
        @MPowerF1
        M has also said they'd never make an M SUV but now we have two. And I'm guessing an M7 isn't too far behind. The F80 M3 may indeed have a manual, especially as they've been seen on prototypes, but I'd bet the generation after that probably won't.
      over9000
      • 2 Years Ago
      ///M stands for ///More Money
      FuelToTheFire
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm honeslty glad that there isn't going to be any manual transmission offered. DCTs kill manuals in everything; mpg, performance, shift times. Plus, it's more convenient and safer to drive a DCT car, especially when you are multitasking, or in heavy trafic.
        Matt
        • 2 Years Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        Multitasking? You should be driving
        kyle
        • 2 Years Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        fueltothefire, if you don't think it's safer to drive a manual transmission and don't understand the sheer fun of it, you are a retard. and multitasking? get on the god damn bus if you don't want to focus on driving!!!! i'll bet you are 13 and have only driven in video games.
          FuelToTheFire
          • 2 Years Ago
          @kyle
          I drive a manual transmission car. Seriously, what fun is there in depressing a clutch pedal and moving a lever? It's just time consuming, cumbersome, and too slow for modern standards. I'd rather eperience th pure feeling of going fast without being bothered by the gear changes. And from time to time, you will need to multitask in a car. Ever been on a tight schedule which requires you to eat on the road? Do you just reject everyone who calls you while you are driving? Multitasking is a part of life. Auto and DCT trannys are much safer and more convenient to operate while multitasking.
          Matt
          • 2 Years Ago
          @kyle
          Then the allure of a manual transmission is lost on you. You probably went with the manual option since it was cheaper than an automatic, or you thought you wanted a manual and now decide you don't. Either way you don't need to say how it gets worse MPG, which is debatable, or shifts slower. Do you really need to shift in two-tenths of a second when driving around town? Also I never eat in my car nor do I answer or check my phone, a Big Mac or text isn't worth an accident or dying.
        BryanGx
        • 2 Years Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        I'd have to agree with Fuel to the Fire. Dual-clutch automatics getting better, and in a few more years manual transmissions will be a novelty item (or not offered at all). Just ask Porsche. They seem to know a thing or two about building sportscars.
          Craigg Turner
          • 2 Years Ago
          @BryanGx
          I think "better" is a relative term, I want to have the experience, to be in control and to have fun, you cant go that quickly on the street anyway so who cares. To use a clarksonian analogy, "you didnt marry your wife because she was easy to hose down", true words...true words.
        Craigg Turner
        • 2 Years Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        FuelToTheFire, I would have to say that, while you are probably a troll, lack of love for a proper manual gearbox tells me that you are definitely not an enthusiast. How a car drives and how it can make you feel when behind the wheel are much more important that a marginally quicker shift time.
        SaabStory
        • 2 Years Ago
        @FuelToTheFire
        Wow. Somehow I manage to click the call button on my car while still operating my manual transmission!! Amazing I know, huh?!!? I have actually eaten food in a manual tranny car too. You can pick your jaw up off the floor now. Oops, maybe I spoke too soon! Wait for it, wait for it...I have actually achieved better mpgs than the projected mpgs of my car if it was an automatic!! Wow, I must be some type of driving genius or something huh?? Not...
      Rr778
      • 2 Years Ago
      Any chance that they will upgrade the handling of this car to boss/gt500 levels? Or will this continue to be lazier in the twisties at the ring and seca?
        me
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rr778
        It's 5 years old and still better than a Boss 302 "in the twisties". They virtually tie at Laguna Seca and the Boss gains a little on the straights.
        John
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rr778
        Are you confused......Ford GT is ZERO handling whatsoever. M3 eats all Ford models alive.
        Justin Campanale
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rr778
        Are you effing kidding me? The manual M3 and Boss are close in a straight line, but the M3 DESTROYS the Mustang in the twisties.
          quackmanquackman
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Justin Campanale
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BxEhnugwzCc I love my M3, but at Laguna Seca's twisties, at least, the Boss beats it.
        John
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rr778
        v
      John Salter
      • 2 Years Ago
      I have been planning on purchasing a new M-3 and have been patiently following the internet articles about its development. I'm not worried about horsepower; BMW appears to be decreasing the mass, which will improve response even more. I'm not worried about the turbos; reviews of the responsiveness of the M5 suggest BMW can tune turbos. But without a manual, there is no point to me. DCT may be nice for the posers and commuters (including the gentlemen who earlier remarked he prefers DCTs when he is "multi-tasking" in his car--ARGH!), but an M3 without even the *option* of a manual shifter tells me BMW's product developers have become soul-less and pathetic.
        Rich
        • 2 Years Ago
        @John Salter
        Yeah because nothing says you're in complete control like a dual-mass fly.
        Jameskey
        • 2 Years Ago
        @John Salter
        My feelings exactly.
      Sacto1654
      • 2 Years Ago
      Sure, it may be fun to drive a BMW M3 with a real manual transmission (and BMW is known to make excellent shifters), but people forget two things: 1. Dual-clutch transmissions can shift gears way faster than any human can. 2. With the normal human action of gear shifting, it actually has higher tailpipe emissions output than with a well-tuned automatic or dual-clutch transmissions. Given the fact that Ferrari is in the process of changing most of their models to use dual-clutch transmissions, it appears that BMW is headed that way with their M Performance models.
        Jameskey
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Sacto1654
        Who cares about how fast they can shift? They are not fun to use and I'd prefer some fun driving to .003 second savings on 0-60. 95% of people with DCTs don't even use them to shift.
      benjammin172
      • 2 Years Ago
      If it comes with any sort of artificial exhaust note from the speakers then I hope the entire M division burns to the ground.
      carbonblackm
      • 2 Years Ago
      An M3 with no manual option will be the end of M as we know it. Dammit BMW, we'll forgive you the X5 Ms and even the turbos, but don't mess with the M3.
      Ask
      • 2 Years Ago
      DCT > manual fo sho!
      Ak74
      • 2 Years Ago
      I can't get it why people complain all the time. Always complain how BMW needs to go back to it roots and stuff. Here they went back to i6 so whats the problem now? In couple of years every single car manufacture is going to have turbos and supercharges. This car is gonna be a rocket, Just trust me.
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