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by Jay Traugott
Set for a 2013 debut, the next M3 will say goodbye to the V8 in favor of a turbocharged straight-six.
BMW's M Performance division has been under a lot of pressure to deliver the goods on the next-generation M3. Known internally as the F80, we've known for a while that it won't have a V8 like the current car has. Due to numerous factors, it's been confirmed for the first time in history that a turbocharged straight-six will be under the next M3's hood. Mated solely to a dual-clutch transmission, the engine is supposedly a highly modified version of the same unit, known as the N55, which also powers the M135i and the 640i.
But the question on everyone's mind is whether this engine would surpass the current E92 M3's 4.0-liter V8 with 414 horsepower. According to a new report from Autocar, the F80 M3 will likely produce a total of 450 hp and 480 pound-feet of torque. The F80 M3 will still have steel structure but expect for the hood, doors and various other parts to be made from lightweight aluminum. We'll learn more details as we get closer to the new M3's official unveiling at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show next March.