Rumor: New BMW M3 to feature a 3.2 liter six-cylinder tri-turbo

Rumors | August 6th, 2011 by 21
bmw m twinpower turbo 101 750x500

Back in July, UK magazine AutoExpress and other BMW sources hinted at the possibility of a new tri-turbo engine to power the next generation BMW M3. At the time, the rumormill churned out that there will be a new, fresh 3.3 liter six-cylinder with triple turbochargers, one of them being powered by electricity.

According to a source close to BMWBLOG, the tri-turbo powerplant is the front-runner for the new M3, but one variable remains unknown: an inline-6 or a new, unexpected V6. While the inline-6 is a “smoother” powerplant, it is larger in size since it needs to be leaned over for height reasons. The rumors around this new powerplant are backed up by the upcoming BMW X6 xDrive50i which will feature for the first time a tri-turbocharged diesel engine.

In late 2009, former BMW M CEO and new BMWUSA boss Ludwig Willisch said a V6 has the possibility to move the engine downwards. ”

bmw m twinpower turbo 101 655x491

TwinPower Turbo Engine featured

“[Related to new M3] The question is will it be a V-6 or an inline six. And we simply are looking at the best solution for the car. The V-6 has the possibility to move the engine further downwards, towards the bulkhead, whereas the inline six is lighter. But as it looks right now, in order to have the right power output, we have to do a lot of work on the test beds to see where we can go. Engines don’t necessarily have to be more powerful for the next car. As long as you have lighter weight, you have better performance. You still need the performance our customers expect. If you have a lighter car, you need the power somewhere in the neighborhood of the current M3.”

The tri-turbo diesel engine is said to like an inline six-cylinder with 3.0 liter displacement and three turbochargers. The power of this engine will peak around the 400 horsepower mark. Our in-house Technology Editor Hugo Becker shared his impressions on the technology that might go behind the design of a tri-turbo engine.

To remain competitive on the market and satisfy those customers craving more than just the driving experience, BMW plans to offer close to 450 horsepower in the new power unit. BMW will launch the F3x M3 in late 2012, but it remains unknown if a sedan variant will be present in the M3 family.

We will continue to dig out some information and will update the article if necessary.

21 responses to “Rumor: New BMW M3 to feature a 3.2 liter six-cylinder tri-turbo”

  1. Hero Sina says:

    I’m not surprised at all. in old days we were saying:

    -Haha you Toyota fanboys, check out BMW’s lineup, no FWD cars. Now look, we have FWD BMW’s.
    -Poor people you AMG drivers are, forced induction is lame. now we barely have NA engines in BMW cars.

    the new BMW isn’t my favorite BMW, it’s far from being my favorite. they lost their focus on making top notch sports car, now they are focusing on making car that sell. all they care is selling cars, no matter if a 5-series handles like a boat or an old Audi A8 beat current 7-series in a comparison.

  2. kalmankacso says:

    “the rumors around this new powerplant are backed up by the upcoming BMW
    X6 xDrive50i which will feature for the first time a tri-turbocharged
    diesel engine”
    50i with a diesel? you mean “d’ not “i”

  3. Blacklabel Lowpriority says:

    I’m glad I have a e92 m3 that I can hold on to for as long as possible. I like BMWs turbo L6s but their poor reliability really hurts the brand. My old 335 (completely stock and never tracked) needed 2 HPFP changes in the two years and 20000 miles I owned it. I really hope that BMW does a lot of reliability testing of the next M3 (or would it be an M4) before putting it into production. It really says something when consumer reports rates the M3 and the x28 the two most reliable BMW models. I do not think it is a coincidence that they are the last NA engines in the lineup.

    One suggestion I could make is for BMW to use a thoroughly updated version of the s54 with a supercharger. That would be both more reliable than a turbo and completely lack turbo lag. Getting around 420 – 450 hp from that configuration should not be an issue and it brings back a L6 which I think everybody would agree is the perfect engine configuration.

    • Alex says:

      Agreed, an S54 with a blower would easily reach 450, and considering efficient dynamics and the such it should be more frugal as well. Instant response, more torque, wider power band, why aren’t they making it? i always thought bmw’s should have superchargers, not turbos, that it fitted the brand mentality better than a turbo, instant get up and go, instant response and better throttle control.

      • Mr. Guest says:

        Your right, maybe BMW should really do some R&D on compressors (superchargers). Alpina used them, G-Power uses them…

        • Derobbie says:

          Compressors do indeed allow faster throttle response, but it drags engine efficiency down pretty badly.
          You have to turn the engine off on those AMG cars if you ever want to get your fuel tank filled …

          I guess emission restrictions are the main reason for their choice of turbos.

          @438bf0cbaab68956e92c5dd53c030c53:disqus Blacklabel Lowpriority: My last car was a 535d and I never had any problems with it whatsoever.My current car is a 550i. I really love it, except for the oil consumption (even though it has improved since it was new)

          • Blacklabel Lowpriority says:

            I’m not convinced blowers are that bad for efficiency. My wife gets 26 mpg out of her S4 and that engine has a blower (as well as a turbo). The AMG cars have bad efficiency because they have those enormous 5.5/6.3 liter V8s. Personally I do not think efficiency should be the #1 goal of a M car anyway. I’d much rather have an engine that does 20mpg and rarely breaks than one that does 28mpg and needs to have its fuel pump replaced every 10k miles.

            I would definitely expect diesel engines to be more reliable as they are built with more robust internals to begin with. I haven’t owned a car with the N63 but I have heard they are pretty reliable. The reliability issues seem to be centered around the n54/55 where BMW haven’t  been able to solve the HPFP issue for 4 years! A simple google search should be able to confirm this. When it is working the N54/55 is a fantastic engine but I fear that basing the next M3 around a turbo L6 without solving the issues with the existing turbo L6s would be a huge mistake. I’ve owned BMWs for 15 years and my 2009 335 was the only one I had significant reliability issues with.

      • Mr. Guest says:

        Your right, maybe BMW should really do some R&D on compressors (superchargers). Alpina used them, G-Power uses them…

  4. wazon says:

    This rumor about V6 in M3 seems to be the same pair of shoes as rumor about FWD 1-er. The only point of it is to keep talking about upcoming M3. Strangly enough, you’ve showed us a printscreen from BMW’s computer, where there were data about 450hp inline6 engine, which was supposed to be modified version of well known 3.0 TT. I really find no reason to take the V6-rumor siriously. It has never been a problem for BMW to make enough space in bay to instal inline6. Why should it change right now? Reducing mass and making efficiency even greater will rather push BMW to apply inline4 in future M3 eventually.

  5. Badforbananas says:

    I’m sure it will be a breeze to work on :)

    id prefer a s54 single turbo setup

  6. Aiza Cabreros says:

    It awaken my alertness when it was featured. I had been waiting it will happen soon. But I never expect it comes too fast on my expectation.The Power of this BMW M3 is a boost.

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