According to the report, both the M3 and M4 will be available in either rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. Hold your gasps, because the all-wheel-drive system is supposed to be the same as in the M5 that lets you drive it in rear-wheel-drive-only mode. It's good to hear you'll be able to option the car as rear-drive only from the factory still, though.
As for the engine and transmission, the normal M twins will only be available with an eight-speed automatic, hooked up to a revised straight-six producing 474 horsepower. Now that you have your pitchforks firmly in hand, we've got one more curveball for you. To assuage the many M enthusiasts who want a manual transmission, BMW is said to be offering M3 and M4 "Pure" variants — these cars will be manual transmission only.
However, the third pedal is apparently going to result in a power reduction. Instead of 474 horses, "Pure" (or whatever BMW decides to call them) M cars will be dealing with 454 horsepower. It's a small price to pay for the option of rowing your own — still, we weep that the true drivers' M car will be the least powerful of the bunch. To make up for it, this version of M3 and M4 will get restyled front and rear fascias, different wheels, a signature paint and exclusive interior trim options. From where we stand, months away from a reveal, this version looks like the one to get excited about.
The 3 Series dropped weight with its redesign and the M cars are going down the same weight reduction path with a predicted 143-pound trimming. This news isn't particularly shocking, but some of the aforementioned is surprising. To see the M5 go with all-wheel drive is understandable, but the M3 and M4 don't have to become Audis. We now know BMW's M xDrive system is a great deal of fun, yet an M3 with all-wheel drive just leaves a slightly sour taste in our mouths for the time being.
Like spy shots we saw of the 4 Series cabriolet before, the M4 drop-top will be moving to a soft top. Other information uncovered in the report tells us to expect M4 Competition, CS and CSL trims to be revealed throughout the car's lifecycle. Rumors of an M3 wagon in Europe are dead for the time being, replaced with that of an M4 Gran Coupe. We wouldn't have gotten the wagon stateside anyway.
All this information is based off the report from Car, but we've asked BMW if it will confirm or refute any of it. We'll update this post upon hearing back.