This December, the first photos emerged of the prototype 2020 BMW M3, codenamed G80. Of course, the car sports a swirled camouflage pattern to try to hide its curves and any new bodylines. However, the trademark M side skirts and roar of the twin turbo, straight-six motor ensure that the identity of this ride won’t be mistaken. What can we expect in 2020?
Though the new M3 is still very early in development, there are several changes that we can notice right off the bat. The most evident of the changes is a significantly wider track than the newest 3-series from BMW. This car sits in a more aggressive stance, lending it an attitude we can probably expect to continue to influence the newest prototypes.
This ride also sports some temporary wheel arch extensions. Hopefully these will become a permanent feature of the final design, as they further enhance the speedy vibe that this prototype emanates. In addition, this prototype has a spoiler lip on the trunk and M side skirts. Everything combines to give the impression that this car is a beast about to strike.
The construction of the next-gen M3 is likely to be based around saving weight. Though it will keep all four doors, and all five seats, anything that can be made with a lighter material will be. Expect more aluminum and composites to be used in the construction of this car. BMW is seeking to offer dynamic weight distribution and improved torsional stiffness to improve response, power, and handling.
Motor and Driveline
The latest prototype includes a 3.0-liter, twin turbo six-cylinder motor that puts out approximately 500 horsepower and 440 foot-pounds of torque. This is equivalent to the 2016 M4 GTS – but it will be in a saloon rather than a coupe. It will also be an impressive step up from the current M3, offering an increase of 50 horsepower and about 40 foot-pounds of torque. When BMW wants to make a fast motor, they will make one. It is likely that the next iteration of the M3 will include electrically spooled turbos and the GTS water injection system. This will greatly improve the engine’s response, letting you access more of the engine’s impressive horsepower faster.
Though the new design is powerful, it does not neglect real-world issues like durability. The engine will be able to handle a lot of boost due to the ECU design that BMW has included. Every time the motor is pushed, water injectors will activate, lowering the engine temperature and negating early detonation. Fuel efficiency will also likely be addressed. We can expect to see an economic mode that will save on fuel, as well as an engine cutoff that will turn the motor off significantly earlier than the current model.
One of the most exciting possible inclusions in the next-gen M3 is on-demand all-wheel drive. All-wheel drive cars are more responsive, as four powered wheels will allow safer and more efficient access to the engine’s power. And in the new M3, we might need it due to the very high horsepower ratings. BMW will also include a quad exhaust on the next-gen model. Rumor has it that the exhaust on the prototype car produced a nice, throaty sound that enhances the sporty feel of this ride.
Other features that may not be on the base model, but could be included as options include a lightweight electronic braking system, electronically controlled variable differentials, and electrically-assisted steering. Each of these features could improve one’s M3 experience, and the overall feel of driving the car – while not sacrificing too much weight.
Not much information is yet available on the possible interior options for the 2020 BMW M3. However, if current trends are maintained, the next BMW will include the newest iteration of their iDrive system. It will also likely have a digital dashboard.
The exact price of the newest M3 will be a mystery for some time. However, it is likely that it will be about the same price as the 2018 BMW M4 – $67,700 list. If you’re considering purchasing the new M4, you might want to wait another two years and get the M3. You will get a sizable power advantage at a (tentatively) similar price.
It looks like the new M3 will be a huge improvement over the existing models. We can expect higher power from the state-of-the-art engine and improved handling from the widened wheelbase and lower weight. In addition, the aggressive stance and look of the new M3 is sure to turn heads.
As more prototypes are spotted on the streets, we hope that BMW stays on the same design track. The new M3 will be a revolutionary and top-tier ride, and it will be an absolute blast to drive!