What's New for 2014
The BMW M3 returns for 2014. Based off the latest 3 Series, it will likely return with a turbocharged six-cylinder engine.
It's back. Or rather, it's on the way for 2014. The BMW M3 returns after a brief hiatus, as is its custom when a new generation of BMW 3 Series has been introduced. Rumors about BMW's most beloved high-performer abound, but the automaker's North American boss recently clarified one of the chief mysteries. The 2014 BMW M3 will not get a twin-turbo V6 as once speculated, but instead a classic inline six-cylinder, likely of the 3.0-liter variety and most definitely turbocharged. The only question remains whether it gets two or three (yes, three) turbochargers.
Regardless, a turbo engine marks a significant departure for a nameplate that has a long tradition of high-revving, naturally aspirated engines. What probably won't change is a standard six-speed manual transmission, offered alongside an optional seven-speed dual-clutch automated manual gearbox.
The 2014 BMW M3 will be larger, yet lighter than its predecessor. The new 3 Series sedan is 3.7 inches overall than the previous model, but it weighs less thanks to aluminum chassis components and increased use of high-strength steel throughout the body. Look for the M3 to show evidence of a high-tech approach to lightweight design with carbon-fiber body panels and even aluminum wiring instead of heavier copper. BMW is also reportedly working on carbon-ceramic brake discs and aluminum calipers, which promise to shed more than 100 pounds from the car's overall weight. These aren't expected until late in the model's lifecycle, however.
The M3 is also likely to get electric-assist steering similar to that fitted on the new 3 Series (although with high-performance tuning). It's one of many components that M Division engineers will use to meet ever-tightening European and U.S. fuel economy standards, while still achieving low 4-second 0-60 times. The electric-assist steering in the regular 3 Series has already drawn complaints from the BMW faithful, though most drivers can't really tell the difference. The more astute M3 buyer may sense the change, however.
We expect to see the 2014 BMW M3 debut sometime next summer and then go on sale by fall. We also expect to see the sedan launch before the coupe, which is an unusual strategy. Check back for a full review of the next M3, including specs, driving impressions and buying advice as it becomes available.