BMW’s upcoming 500hp M3 has been spotted testing at the Nurburgring. Read on for all the details
Sign up to our newsletter
Get notified on the latest car news, reviews and videos
- BMW M3 spotted testing at the Nurburgring
- Will have more than 500hp
- Expected to use the same 3.0-litre straight-six engine as the current car
- On sale in 2020
The upcoming replacement for the BMW M3 has been spotted doing performance testing at the Nurburgring. When it goes on sale a year or so after the new 3 Series, it’ll offer a massive power output north of 500hp and sophisticated traction control systems.
The new 3 Series will look slightly more like the 5 Series, with larger headlights and grilles. With the camouflage wrap failing to disguise the chunkier wheel arches, boot spoiler and pumped up bumpers, it’s likely that the upcoming M3 will resemble a mini M5. That’ll be fine by us, as will be the four large (and noisy) exhausts poking out of the rear bumper, either side of a new diffuser. Just like the current M3, expect this replacement to look far more aggressive than the 3 Series – it’s not going to be all that subtle…
You’ll notice it’s not a diesel 3 Series when you get in, too. Expect sporty Alcantara trim to be used on the steering wheel, dashboard and seats, and there’ll be dedicated racing modes for when you’re following in this test driver’s footsteps.
The cabin will look quite similar to the 5 Series’ interior as BMW will try to push its smallest saloon further upmarket. A new central infotainment screen will offer better graphics and gesture control – although you’ll probably be keeping both hands on the grippier steering wheel! Increased passenger and boot space are likely, although there’s no word on a super-practical M3 estate yet.
Engines and driving
The incessant German horsepower race between Mercedes, BMW and Audi has meant BMW will likely stuff as much as 500hp into its smallest executive car. That’s a massive leap of 75hp over the current car, meaning the M3 is likely to hit 62mph from a standstill in just over 3.5 seconds. The extra power will be squeezed out of the same 3.0-litre straight-six engine, although various parts will have been improved.
The two turbochargers could be electronically activated for better performance and, if these photos are anything to go by, it looks like it’ll drive brilliantly. It’ll be a tough order to improve it over the current car, though. An automatic gearbox looks to be the only option, but a six-speed manual may be offered.
Price and release date
The new BMW M3 is expected to go on sale roughly a year after the launch of the new 3 Series, so expect it to be late 2020 before you’ll be able to buy it in showrooms. An entry price of around £62,000 is highly likely – that would be an increase of just over £2,000 over the current car.