With the new F10 3 Series sedan out for a year or so and the new
3 Series 4 Series coupe all but revealed at this point, our thoughts, naturally, turns to thoughts of the M3, code-named F80 (and the F82-codenamed M4). And while BMW has been pretty mum about the motor that’ll sit beneath the hood of the super-3s, a little investigation by a member of the Bimmer-centric forum F30Post has turned up what may be our best clue yet as to the new M3 and M4′s powerplant.
Diving into the registered VINs for BMW’s pre-production test cars, one F30Post poster discovered the British VIN for a pre-production M4. According to the registration, the M4 is powered by a 3.0 liter engine code-named S55 (which seems to imply it’s related to the 3.0 liter inline-six used in the 335i that’s dubbed N55), which makes 416 horsepower. This jives with earlier reports we’ve heard about the new M3 and M4 switiching over to a twin- or tri-turbo inline six.
While the new M3 will be down two cylinders to its predecessor, the horsepower revelation should come as a relief for anyone worried the new car would make less power—the HP figure puts it two ponies above the last-generation E90/E92 M3. The new engine should be a lot gruntier than the old car’s V8, too; one of F30Post’s “trusty” sources claims the new S55 will make around 100 lb-ft more torque than the outgoing high-revving V8, which would put the new M3 and M4′s twist at around 395 lb-ft. That sort of figure would line up nicely with our expectations; the regular N55 makes up to 330 lb-ft, so a 20 percent bump would be in line with what we’d expect.
The other piece of good news F30Post uncovered regarding the next M3 and M4 through their sources was that BMW aims to bring the next-gen car to the showroom floor with a curb weight equivalent to the E46 M3′s 3,415 lb. weight. If that’s true, and if they’re successful, the F80-generation M3 and F82-gen M4 would be about 300 pounds lighter than the outgoing M3. Combine that eight percent weight loss with the 20 percent increase in torque and equivalent power, and the new M3 and M4 should be quite a hoot to drive. We’d expect nothing less. [via F30Post]
Pictured: BMW 3 Series M Sport, which is probably a fair approximation of what the new M3 will look like.