BMW recently unveiled the M3 concept car at the Geneva Motor Show. It's no secret that this 'concept' is the fourth generation M3 in the flesh and expected to arrive in Australia in early 2008. They didn't go so far as to provide details of the powerplant but it is widely assumed to be a V8 of 4.0ltrs. Basically the V10 currently seen in the M5 and M6 less two cylinders.
Power should exceed 300kws and torque is expected to be around the 400Nm mark which should all result in a 0-100 time of around 4.6 seconds. Thats quicker than most cars including the Audi RS4.
It is expected to be made available with a conventional manual gearbox as well as the SMGIII 7 speed box from the M5. You get the feeling that it won't be too many years before real self-shifters are no longer even an option on certain German cars.
The current M3 (Gen 3) has been languishing in the shadow of the sensational Audi RS4 (see photo below). It's taken Audi a while to get their act together on an M3 challenger but it is generally considered opinion that they have the current M3 face down on the canvas.
Needless to say, you can expect that BMW's M division have designed the fourth generation M3 to reverse that situation which means we can look forward to some seriously high performance fun in early 2008.
The outgoing 3.2 litre 6 cylinder will no doubt be sorely missed by M enthusiasts, having earned itself many awards and generally being considered one of the greatest engines of all time. Somehow though I think the new saying at BMW M GmbH in downtown Munich will be...'Theres nichts m????gen durchaus ein V8'. There is nothing quite like a V8!