• 2020 BMW M3
  • It'll feature that same four-door, compact body style But will sit lower and have a wider stance that the standard 3 series
  • Expected flared fenders and quad exhaust tips
  • To go with equally aggressive aerodynamic features in teh front and rear
  • Standard wheel sizing at 19 inches with optional wheels coming in at 20 inches
  • Inside, It'll get standard M treatment like heated seats and steering wheel, digital instrument cluster, and the newest infotainment tech
  • The Engine bay will be filled with the M4's 3.0-liter Inline-Six
  • That means it will offer somewhere between 465 and 500 horsepower
  • You should get to choose between a six-speed manual and an eight-speed automatic
  • It could even take on a mild-hybrid system too
  • The M4's water injection system is also possible
  • And it will certainly get bigger brakes and adaptive suspension
  • and thanks to the CLAR platform, it's lighter and stiffer than ever
  • There's still another year before it debuts
  • So expect to see some more changes between now and then
  • You better start saving now, though, as it'll be here for the 2020 model year

Extra power, less weight, and more Bimmerness than ever before

The BMW M3 has been around for a while now, first entering production in 1985 as a high-powered go-faster variant of the ever-popular BMW 3 Series. The latest F80 generation dropped in 2014, essentially setting the benchmark for all other fast four-doors to match, and now, there’s a new generation in the making. Dubbed internally as the G80, the next M3 is shaping up to be quite the ultimate driving machine, so we gathered up all the rumors we could find and put ‘em right here in the following speculative review.

Update 05/17/2018: The M3 is about ready to make its debut, but engineers decided to take it out for another spin on the Nurburgring. Check out the latest photos in our special section below.

M3 Testing on the Nurburgring – 05/17/2018

2020 BMW M3
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2020 BMW M3
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As you can see from the images, nothing has really changed on the pre-production prototype. So, it’s still rocking that more pronounced nose, fat-lipped kidney grille, and those sleek headlights. This time around the air dam and air intakes are covered up a bit more indicating that it could be wearing a production bumper under the camo. Around back, there isn’t much else to report either, however, the taillights are a little more exposed. But, this is insignificant as these are still decoy lights anyway. Engineers have cut away a bit of the rear bumper opening up the airway that will eventually be filled by a rear diffuser. The exhaust system has been elevated and tweaked a bit but is still void of official exhaust pipes. As you can see, the outlets will be positioned a little more inward compared to the standard model. Expect a debut to happen in the next few months as this is essentially the final stages of testing before the rear goodies, including the wider, production fenders get slapped into place.

2020 BMW M3 Exterior Styling

- * Compact four-door body style
- * Wide and low stance
- * Quad exhaust tips
- * Flared fenders
- * Aggressive aero bits
- * Larger intakes in the front fascia
- * Wheels between 19 and 20 inches in diameter
- * Pronounced rear trunk spoiler
- * LED lighting
- * Small exterior dimension increase

2020 BMW M3 Spyshots Exterior
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And it will certainly get bigger brakes and adaptive suspension
The 2020 M3 is sure to offer a pumped-up four-door sedan body style that simply screams compact sports machine.

Although at first glance it appears as though this camo-clad contraption is nothing more than a standard 3 Series test mule, a closer inspection reveals that it’s far more than that. For example, check out that nice, wide stance, plus the quartet of exhaust tips in the rear, both of which are definitely marks of the BMW M Division, if you ask us.

Regardless, the new BMW M3 will most definitely bring with is a more over-the-top appearance. It’ll be quite eye-catching for sure, rocking a pumped-up four-door sedan body style that simply screams compact sports machine.

Included in the transformation from luxury sedan to performance star will be a variety of aero bits from front to back, such as larger intakes in the fascia and extra sharp wing pieces as well.

We also expect the M3 to make the scene with wider fenders, with the arches in front getting a particularly boisterous appearance. Matching this will be a lowered ride height and matching M side skirts that bring it even closer to the pavement (visually speaking, that is). Taking up residence in the corners will be a set of split-spoke wheels, offering up a new design and sizing between 19 and 20 inches in diameter.

2020 BMW M3 Spyshots Exterior
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You better start saving now, though, as it’ll be here for the 2020 model year
In back, you’ll find a more pronounced trunk spoiler than the tiny lip added to this tester.

Moving to the rear of the vehicle, you’ll be sure to find a more pronounced rear trunk spoiler than the tiny lip added to this tester, as well as the previously mentioned quad exhaust tips peeking out from underneath the bumper. Also be on the lookout for squared taillight housings with LED lighting elements, something which will also be added to the sharp headlight housings at the other end of the vehicle.

Finally, the M3 is expected to gain incremental increases the the exterior dimensions. You can check out the current 3 Series’ dimensions below.

F80 BMW 3 Series exterior dimensions
Wheelbase 2,812 mm (110.7 inches)
Length 4,671 mm (183.9 inches)
Width 1,877 mm (73.9 inches)
Height 1,424 mm (56.1 inches)

2020 BMW M3 Interior Design

- * Seating for up to five passengers total
- * More hard buttons and knobs than the competition
- * Horizontal design elements throughout
- * New steering wheel design
- * Heated seats and heated steering wheel options
- * All-digital gauge cluster
- * Optional sports seats
- * Latest infotainment platform
- * Rear bench seat delete for even less weight
- * More passenger room overall

2015 BMW M3 High Resolution Interior
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Note: current BMW M3 pictured here.

Inside the 2020 BMW M3’s cabin, expect to find much of the same layout and design as the current model.

Inside the 2020 BMW M3’s cabin, expect to find much of the same layout and design as the current model. That includes lots of space, with seating for up to five passengers total.

The dash up front will continue to come with a number of physical buttons to control the car’s various features, while a widescreen will be mounted on top of the dash to provide readouts on current system status and navigation info. The rest of the dash will continue Bimmer’s penchant for horizontal design elements, stretching into the doors and towards the rear of the vehicle.

The steering wheel will be a three-spoke affair with loads of hard buttons and switches, all of which will be placed at thumb’s length for easy operation. Options should include both a heated steering wheel, and heated seats as well.

The central tunnel will come with a rotary control and V-shaped surround for the shifter, just as you’d expect from a model like this. One big upgrade, however, will be found just behind the steering wheel, where the gauge cluster will likely be all-digital, something Audi and Mercedes have been shooting for for a while now.

Seats will include adjustable, comfortable cruisers as standard across the line. However, if you need more support, BMW is sure to offer a pair of fixed-back carbon fiber buckets, which is the ideal for carving corners and taking on the local lap time record.

Infotainment will also be new, and will require as many as three separate displays to run it all. Called the iD7 (iDrive 7.0) platform, the M3 should offer stuff like web connectivity, smartphone support, multiple apps, and the like.

2015 BMW M3 Interior
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Infotainment will be all-new, called the iD7 (iDrive 7.0) platform.

It’s also possible (although unlikely) BMW will offer an M3 “Touring” model, with a plumped-up wagon body style and oodles of rear cargo room. While we certainly would love to see something like that, don’t hold your breath - Bimmer has shot down all calls for such a vehicle in the past, and it’s unlikely we’ll get an about-face with this latest generation. Here’s to hoping all the same.

That said, it’s far more likely customers will get the option for a rear-bench delete, reducing the overall weight and making the most of the sedan’s various high-performance options. So then - more speed and less practicality? Makes sense coming from Bimmer.

At the same time, for those buyers looking to get the most comfortable options possible, the new M3 will get small increases to its exterior dimensions, which will make for small improvements to interior room as well. And that’s good news for those buyers who are looking to actually use the rear seat.

2020 BMW M3 Drivetrain And Performance

- * New engine package, same as the M4
- * Twin-turbo 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder
- * Between 465 and 500 horsepower at the peak
- * Six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic
- * RWD as standard, but maybe AWD as optional?
- * Could the M3 go hybrid this time?
- * Likely to get the M4’s H2O injection system
- * Lighter, stiffer CLAR platform underneath
- * Undercuts the M3 CS in terms of weight
- * Huge brakes, adaptive suspension
- * Even-faster version on the horizon

2020 BMW M3 Spyshots Exterior
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The Engine bay will be filled with the M4’s 3.0-liter Inline-Six
The 2020 M3 will likely top the current BMW M3 Competition, which produces upwards of 444 horsepower.

As he was shooting the images you see here, our spy photographer says he was loving the sounds this tester was making. That’s because under the hood the 2020 M3 will sport a new powertrain package, upgrading to a standard M-tuned twin-turbo 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder. Also known as the S58B30, this is the same engine used in the M4, offering turbocharged speed with more boost than the outgoing model, as well as smooth six-cylinder refinement and a lovely exhaust note to boot.

In terms of output, the M3 could top as much as 500 horsepower, with lower estimates putting the peak at 465 horsepower. The twist figures are looking to be around 450 pound-feet of torque.

Either way, the new model will most likely trump the current BMW M3 Competition, which produces upwards of 444 horsepower, sprinting to 60 mph in about 4 seconds flat. Meanwhile, the current standard M3 model makes ends meet with 425 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque.

With the 2020 M3, also expect features like a coasting mode and start/stop system to help it reduce overall consumption.

Handling the cog swaps will once again be a standard six-speed manual gearbox, or alternatively, an optional eight-speed automatic from ZF, the latter of which will come with a variety of settings to tweak and tune to suit your given mood or situation.

The eight-speed auto will arrive as a replacement for the current model’s dual-clutch seven-speed unit, with the previously mentioned settings also affecting stuff like the engine response, steering response, and damper settings across the range. Making extra grip will be an infinitely variable locking differential.

A while back, rumor had it the M3 would go hybrid and AWD, but that’s not looking like it’ll be the case any longer. If it turns out the rumor mill wasn’t wrong, we could possibly see BMW offering RWD and a manual gearbox for the purists, plus the eight-speed automatic and AWD as an upgraded option. Meanwhile, the hybrid version would throw in a little additional low-end electric grunt and regenerative braking capabilities, prioritizing speed over efficiency.

2020 BMW M3 Spyshots Exterior
- image 764361
That means it will offer somewhere between 465 and 500 horsepower
The inclusion of AWD and hybrid power are still very much a speculative thing at this point.

All told, the inclusion of AWD and hybrid power are still very much a speculative thing at this point. Rather, RWD and turbo internal combustion are the safer options, especially if BMW wants to keep its classic sporting roots intact. Otherwise, beware the purists.

However, much more likely is the inclusion of the M4 GTS’ water injection system. Essentially, this system introduces a fine mist of water into the engine intake plenum, which helps to cool the charge air and increase the horsepower without affecting overall reliability. It’s a bit of a gimmick, but folks love it all the same.

Under the skin, the M3 will still be based on the standard next-gen 3 Series, which is set to debut later in 2018 at the Paris Motor Show.

The architecture itself is known as CLAR (Cluster Architecture), and it’s a RWD-centric platform that’ll find its way to a variety of BMW model in the future. For example the M3 will share its bones with siblings like the new 5 Series and the new 7 Series.

Standout features for CLAR include a good deal of aluminum, high-strength steel, and other lightness-adding materials. Overall stiffness will also see a considerable boost.

As such, the M3 will enjoy similar upgrades as the standard 3 Series, such as a wider track, a lower center of gravity, and a longer wheelbase. The suspension is also expected to be both more compliant and more fun in the corners. A 50:50 front-to-rear weight distribution will keep it feeling frisky, as will a slew of new suspension bits. Hauling it down will be a simply enormous brake package, with the option to get into carbon ceramic components for extra outlay, if that’s your thing.

2020 BMW M3 Spyshots Exterior
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So expect to see some more changes between now and then
The M3’s diet will include plenty of fiber, including a new composite roof.

Additional composite components will help to shave off even more weight. Indeed, the diet will include plenty of fiber, including a new composite roof, which will lower the center of gravity considerably compared to a metal roof alternative. All told, the goal would appear to be a curb weight below that of the M3 CS, which currently tips the scales at 1,585 kg (3,494 pounds).

Final details include a variable-rate electric steering system and adaptive dampers.

Apparently, the 2020 M3 is already undergoing a good deal of testing at the Nurburgring, and as such, it should simply slay the apexes when it’s finally released. However, for those who need even more of that speed stuff, further performance gains can be had with go-faster versions like the M3 CS and M3 GTS, set for release after the standard model.

2020 BMW M3 Prices

2020 BMW M3 Spyshots Exterior
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The 2020 BMW M3 looks set for a debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September of 2019. Sales should kick off shortly thereafter in early 2020.

It’s speculated BMW will give the new-gen a bit of a price jump, up to around 58,000 pounds in the U.K. and close to $70,000 in the U.S. Optional equipment will quickly catapult the bottom line even higher.

2020 BMW M3 Competition

Mercedes-AMG C 63 Sedan

2015 Mercedes-AMG C63 High Resolution Exterior
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Big, mean, and not afraid to play dirty, the C 63 is a bruiser of a four-door, packing in the ponies with a turbocharged 4.0-liter V-8 doling out as much as 469 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque. Routed through an AMG SpeedShift seven-speed automatic transmission connected directly to the rear axle, it’s enough to propel the Merc to 60 mph in 4 seconds flat. Loads of interior gear and styling options keep it feeling fresh, while technology options include stuff like Active Blind Spot Assist, Steering Assist, Parking Assist, and more.

Read our full review of the 2015 Mercedes-AMG C 63.

Audi RS5 Coupe

2018 Audi RS5 High Resolution Exterior
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Although it’s rumored Audi will reintroduce it’s highly desirable RS4 Sedan sometime in the near future, we can still look to the RS5 Coupe as a suitable competitor for the upcoming 2020 BMW M3. Granted, the RS5 Coupe rocks just two doors, but the rest of the spec is close enough to include it in this section. Providing the motivation here is a turbocharged 2.9-liter V-6, which spins to the tune of 444 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque. That’s nothing to sneeze at, especially when routed to the pavement via quattro AWD and an eight-speed automatic transmission, blessing this Four-Ring monster with a sub-4-second 0-to-60 mph time timed at 3.7 seconds. The RS5 will also top out at 174 mph with the right options. Pricing is bit steep though, starting at $69,900.

Read our full review on the 2018 Audi RS5.

Final Thoughts

2020 BMW M3 Spyshots Exterior
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There’s still another year before it debuts
At the end of the day, it looks as though the BMW M3 is still the one to get if purity is what you’re after.

At the end of the day, it looks as though the BMW M3 is still the one to get if purity is what you’re after, providing BMW keeps the classic manual and RWD configuration intact. While Mercedes and Audi double down on technology and comfort items, BMW seems more concerned with recapturing its “Ultimate Driving Machine” spirit, cutting weight, adding power, and enhancing the suspension to ever-greater performance levels.

And we like that - a lot. We like the smooth inline six-cylinder’s power delivery, we like the plethora of track day options, and we like the DTM-inspired styling. Hell, we even like the overpriced squirt bottle that is the water injection system.

Of course, nothing lasts forever, and one day, even the M3 will need to bow to the times, i.e. go hybrid and AWD. Hopefully that day is still some time in the future.

  • Leave it
    • * Price jump incoming
    • * Likely to be a rather stiff ride
    • * Plenty of other options out there

References

2015 BMW M3 High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2017 BMW M3.

2016 BMW 3 Series High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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BMW 3 Series

Read our full review on the 2018 BMW 3 Series.

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Read more BMW news.

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