2021 BMW M3 price, specs and release date

Sam Naylor
September 01, 2020

The new BMW M3’s is just around the corner, but before the car is officially revealed, we’ve spied it in testing on a race track. It gives us the best look yet at the German super-saloon.

  • BMW M3 spotted testing
  • Shows bold grille design
  • M3 Touring officially teased
  • Shares the X3 M’s 3.0-litre engine
  • Will make 480hp
  • 510hp in Competition spec
  • Official reveal due before 2021
This is the first time we’ve seen an M3 prototype with a huge 4-Series-style grille. 

2020 BMW M3 design

The most significant detail seen in our latest spy shots of the next BMW M3 is the huge kidney grille. This detail isn’t included on the current BMW 3 Series, but it will be a central feature of the 4 Series coupe range – and it will also appear on the M3.

The M3’s powerful engine requires more cooling than the standard 3 Series’. 

It’s a striking design and obvious even under camouflage – along with familiar BMW design details such as the four exhaust pipes, sharply-styled door mirrors and large air vents for cooling the engine and brakes. A small boot spoiler is included too, which we expect will be made using carbon fibre.

This grainy teaser image shows exactly what the new M3 Touring’s rear will look like. 

New BMW M3 Touring

BMW recently confirmed that a BMW M3 Touring will be built, via a teaser image shared on social media. This is the first time the company has made an estate version of the M3, and the teaser image was surprisingly revealing, showing the full design of the car’s rear end.

The image proves that the M3 Touring will use a contrasting central diffuser, and those four exhaust pipes will make it over from the prototypes we’ve seen during testing. Under the skin, it’ll use the same technology as the M3 saloon, as well as the M4 Coupe.

The new M3’s interior will come with a few sporty additions over the standard 3 Series, shown here.

2021 BMW M3 interior

We haven’t seen any pictures of the next BMW M3’s interior yet, but expect it to build on the current BMW 3 Series’ cabin, but with sporty-looking trim pieces, sports seats, chrome details and M-branded seatbelts. These are all standard fare on M models, so it shouldn’t be too much of a surprise.

In terms of infotainment, there will be a digital instrument cluster from the current 3 Series, plus a central screen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. It’ll offer both touchscreen and iDrive functionality (including the rotary dial for ease of use).

2021 BMW M3 engines

A 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged straight-six engine will sit under the bonnet – it’s the same one that’s in the most recent BMW X3 M, so we already know it will be a very quick car. This means there’s 480hp in the standard M3, and 510hp in the racier Competition model. This should mean it’s even faster than the already-ballistic outgoing BMW M3 saloon.

The new M3 will be the first to come with the option of four-wheel drive. 

2021 BMW M3 four-wheel drive

While most models will be rear-wheel drive, the BMW M3 will have the option of BMW’s xDrive four-wheel-drive system – although these models aren’t expected to go on sale until 2022. The X3 M already uses this layout, so it’s a natural step for the M3. An automatic gearbox will be in most cars, but BMW will also most likely offer a manual gearbox for enthusiast drivers.

The new M3 will be officially revealed before the end of 2020. 

2021 BMW M3 price and release date

We expect that the new BMW M3 will cost from around £76,000, which is in line with its rivals – the Mercedes-AMG C63 and Audi RS4. Expect an official reveal soon, probably in September 2020, and the launch of the car in early 2021. The M3 Touring won’t make its debut until 2022, though – and expect it to cost a little more than the equivalent M3 saloon.

Head over to our BMW M3 review to get all the info on the outgoing model and to watch our in-depth video review.