The next generation M3 is in its final evaluation phase testing at the Nürburgring. As expected (we are still firm believers in the letter M), this new model appears to handle better than its predecessor thanks to the addition of carbon fiber in key areas to shave pounds and improve balance, two things key to improving lap times. Horsepower is rumored to be around 420 with torque just shy of 400 lb/ft and supplied by a turbo charged six cylinder.

BMW M has been testing a variety of lightweight items, from carbon fiber based suspension and crumple zones to CFRP seats (similar to the M3 CRT), a first for an M sedan is a CFRP roof, and additionally lithium ion batteries lighten the load. Lithium ion batteries could also be used to supply the much rumored electric turbo with power efficiently- this type of turbo would allow instant boost and as a secondary function it could generate power to charge batteries.

Might be curious as how all this carbon fiber won’t make the price astronomical? BMW M is taking advantage of the BMWi advances in CF production for economies of scale and technology to keep costs down as well as using a series engine with significant modifications rather than going totally bespoke. Money saved in one area is being spent elsewhere- losing weight is the same as increasing the horsepower; is BMW learning something from Lotus?

Although the F30 based sedan which will wear an M3 badge has been testing significantly longer than the 4 series based coupe a BMW insider reports that the BMW M4 Concept Car will be unveiled at Pebble Beach next month. Both the M3 and M4 are being presented at the NAIAS in Detroit this coming winter- either way we are stoked that there soon will be a new M model on the tracks… granted we will always miss the sound of that amazing V8 that has been sent out to pasture.