For starters, the new G80 M3 is built on an entirely new chassis, dubbed CLAR, and it’s a modular rear-wheel drive-based architecture that underpins most new BMW models. It’s the same chassis as the 3 Series but it’s been heavily upgraded for M3-duty.
The new BMW M3 also gets a new engine, an S58 3.0 liter twin-turbocharged inline-six with either 473 horsepower or 503 horsepower, depending on whether or not you get the standard car or Competition, respectively. Attached to that engine will be either a six-speed manual transmission or and eight-speed auto. Also, M3 customers, for the first time ever, will have the choice between a rear-wheel drive car or all-wheel drive.
What’s interesting is that BMW expects North America — specifically the U.S. — to be the biggest market for the new M3 by far and away. In fact, BMW expects the U.S. to make up 41-percent of the market share, with the UK at 14-percent coming in second. Also, BMW expects the M3 Competition with xDrive to be the most popular version of the car.
We had a brief taste of the new M3 in Palm Beach, Florida but we’re itching for a longer test, to really see what the new car is like to drive. It might have polarizing looks and it’s heavier than any other M3 in history by a good margin but it does have the makings to be a very good sports car. We can’t wait to find out.