The next-generation 2021 BMW M3 will be fully unveiled next year, but according to our sources, it won’t reach the market until early 2021. The news were also just confirmed today by BMW M CEO Markus Flasch in an interview with Motoring Australia. Speaking at the 2019 BMW M Festival at the Kyalami circuit in South Africa, Flasch confirmed the both the new BMW M3 sedan and M4 coupe will go into production in late 2020. As always, the timing of the launch will differ by market, but the US market will receive the new M cars in early 2021.
At the same event, Flasch also spoke about the recent 2021 BMW M3 leak, which many have believed to have been done on purpose by the BMW M marketing team.
“The [M3] pictures didn’t leak on purpose,” he said. “I mean, the car’s ready. It’s a pre-production car that leaked.”
We also spoke about the leak in our recent podcast and shared a similar view. The leaked image seems to have come from the production line and was featuring some pre-production parts, including the smaller-than-usual exhaust tips.
The image also confirmed again that the new 2021 BMW M3 and M4 models will have a huge kidney grille (source here). The new M kidney stretches virtually the entire height of the front and makes visible the enormous air cooling requirement of the engine.
The previously vertical double struts are apparently horizontal, which gives the high-standing kidneys a certain broader effect. While the BMW M4 was expected to follow in the steps of the 4 Series, the G80 BMW M3 might be a surprise to some. In a recent interview with us, BMW head of design, Domagoj Dukec said that some future BMW models will further differentiate themselves from the rest of the lineup.
So the new G80 BMW M3 will fall in this category as well, followed by the G82 M4 and, of course, the G22 4 Series.
With the independent design of the new M kidneys, the BMW M division takes a similar approach like Mercedes-Benz. The AMG sportscar division has been relying for some time on a design called Panamericana Grille, which differentiates the sports models from any series production Benz.
When the G80 BMW M3 is unveiled in 2020, it will be powered by the same new S58 engine as the BMW X3 M and X4 M. So it will be a 3.0 liter twin-turbocharged I6 engine with 473 hp as-standard. There will also be a competition model available at launch and that will pack the same engine but with 503 hp.
This new G80 BMW M3 will also be the first M3 in history to power all four wheels. According to our sources, there will be two models; a rear-wheel drive model and an all-wheel drive model; marking another first for the famed performance model. The rear-drive M3 will be available with either a manual gearbox or an eight-speed automatic, while the all-wheel drive car will be automatic only.