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Change is something that often takes us by surprise, it is something that many have difficulty with as to put it plainly- we are creatures of habit. In the not so distant future BMW fans will be given a significant dose of change as BMW is once again revamping its naming system.Gone will be the historical 3 series coupe/convertible to be replaced by the 4 Series. It should come as less of a surprise to most fans as recently there was a 4 Series concept shown off to the world, but truth be told most car buyers are just buyers and not brand enthusiasts so consider this a primer.

The change has ramifications greater than just in a name, but it is a hint as to what to expect. Starting in our toddler years we learned that some numbers are greater than others; in this case 4 is greater than 3. BMW and the marketing department will drive that home, with more luxury, more options and more room than before in a 3 series based coupe. Unsurprisingly, it will also cost more. Having seen a basically undressed test mule recently I was amazed at how much larger it seems compared to the outgoing model, both in length and width and performance; it looks more in line with a six series now for better or worse. This move up market will make more market room for the smaller 2 Series coupe (think E46 in size). The current generation 3 series coupe has been a huge success in sales and overall performance thanks to the reign of the M3.

What will become of the M3? It will continue on in sedan form with its latest itineration bowing later this year. Gone will be the initially controversial high revving V8, replaced by a forced induction six with output somewhere in the 425hp neighborhood with boat loads more torque on tap. The M3 could be M ‘s most important car launch because it is the name that has propelled the brand for so many years and yet it will be different- a sporty coupe being replaced only with a four door sedan. The M3 sedan will foreshadow, like the M5 did for the M6, the M4. A question that was recently posed to us was “why is BMW Motorsport still racing the M3 in DTM with Joey Hand ‘s car sporting a huge M3 decal on it? ” We ‘re not so sure, it could be a farewell tribute to BMW ‘s racing history in the model or as some sources report- there will be no M4 and both the coupe and sedan will use the M3 name. WOuldn ‘t the latter confuse consumers even more?.

Regardless of what BMW names these cars we know that they will irk some enthusiasts because of the increases in size, complexity of the switch gear and abundance of technology. Be forewarned, this is the path all cars are on and the only way back is to buy a classic. Let ‘s just hope that it all “works ” and BMW has another success on their hands so the M2 gets the green light and a smaller more nimble M product will be built (if that is more your cup of tea). We expect the M3 to be an amazing piece of engineering that will keep just about everyone smiling from behind the wheel.

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