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Next BMW M3/M4 engine confirmed

New models get a turbo straight six, M-fans up in arms...

BMW will be splitting the 3-Series Coupe from the saloon when it is revealed later this year, giving the new coupe the 4-Series moniker. This is big news because for the first time in the company’s history, their mid-sized coupe M-car will be the M4, not the M3. There will be an M3, but it will be based on the 3-Series saloon. This much we knew, but there has been much speculation over what form the powerplant will take - well now the speculation can end.

The President of BMW North America, Mr. Ludwig Willisch, who confirmed to at a recent event that the next generation BMW M3 and M4 will be powered by an inline 6-cylinder engine unit and not a V-configuration as previously reported.

Mr. Willisch said “a V6 configuration was previously considered (including whether a motor based on the current M3's S65 engine minus two cylinders was appropriate), but ultimately ruled out."

The new unit will replace the 4.0-liter V8 that powers the outgoing model. It will be around a 3.0 litre displacement, but could be a 3.4 litre according to reports. There will certainly be turbos needed to get the required levels of power, but this could take the form of a twin or even triple turbo layout, as BMW have perfected the triple turbo installation in their new M50d engine. Power will undoubtedly be higher than the outgoing model and will need to stay competitive against the rivals, so expect around 450-470 bhp from the new engine.

The M3 and M4 will be revealed after the 4-Series goes on sale later this year.

Image courtesy of BMW

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About Tim Oldland

Contributing Editor - Long time petrolhead, automotive design engineer and journalist. Also Social Media Manager for the ecurie25 Group - Tim has worked in the automotive sector for many years, but has been a fan of anything with 2 or 4... read more