There’s been a lot of speculation surrounding the upcoming G80 BMW M3. With massive changes made to the F90 BMW M5, such as the introduction of all-wheel drive, a torque-converter automatic gearbox and the lack of a manual transmission option, fans are naturally very curious (worried) about the next-generation M3. Fortunately, we have some very exciting news from a very reliable source close to BMWBLOG.

While we don’t have any official specs, nor has BMW officially confirmed anything to the public, we trust our source’s information to be accurate.

According to our source, the next-generation BMW M3 will be both rear-wheel drive and M xDrive all-wheel drive. Now, we aren’t actually sure if it will have both has separate options or it will just be M xDrive with a “2WD” mode, like the F90 M5, as our source didn’t specify. All we know is that, either way, the new M3 will have the option to either grip the road with all four wheels or shred its rear tires to bits.

This is actually good news, despite some purists that will bemoan it. The M3’s competition is fierce nowadays and it’s going to need all-wheel drive grip to keep up. Plus, after having driven the new M5 plenty, we’re fully confident in BMW’s ability to develop an all-wheel drive system that’s both incredibly fun and incredibly fast while also being safe when it needs to be.

For you purists, though, there is good news. The next BMW M3 will absolutely still have a manual option. Now, because we don’t know if there will be two separate M3 models, one rear-drive and one xDrive, we don’t know if the manual will be available for both. If there are separate models, it’s possible that the next M3 could only carry the manual on the rear-drive model, which makes more sense.

Powering the next-gen M3 is going to be some iteration of the new S58 engine — an M-ified version of the B58 — and it’s going to make between 450-500 hp. So combine that with M xDrive and a six-speed manual, along with all of the new chassis and handling techniques BMW is throwing at the next-gen 3 Series, and this has the potential to be the best BMW M3 yet. Though, we’re going to try and temper our enthusiasm a bit, so as to not over-hype the car. Emphasis on “try”.