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2014 BMW M3

August 1985. This is the day BMW announced the most powerful 3-Series they have ever built. And in its 25 years of history, the M3 has seen four different generations and evolved from a 2.3 liter inline-four cylinder engine with 200 HP to an impressive V8 hitting 420 HP. It may not be the best sports car out there, but it is surely one that combines most of the virtues required from a sports car: an extraordinary look, great performance, the best class handling, and a luxurious interior.

In 2013, the sports car’s history will move on to its next chapter as BMW will be set to reveal the new generation M3. This time, the model will only be offered as a coupe and cabrio - the sedan version will be dropped - and will feature a twin-turbo 3.0 liter straight-six engine for the first time. This engine will be bumping up the M3’s horsepower to 450.

Exterior and Interior
The next generation BMW 3-Series comes with big changes. For the first time, customers will receive a hatchback model inspired by the 5-Series GT. There will be a new design and new engines under the hood.

The same changes will also be applied to the M3 version. The only problem with that is the M version will come as a hatchback since the sedan model will be dropped.

As for its exterior design, the future M3 will combine design elements from the recently launched Z4, 5-Series, and 7-Series. It will be slightly larger in size, but with shorter front and back overhangs.

The Engine
As for the engine, the current V8 will be dropped. Instead BMW will opt for a twin-turbo 3.0 liter straight-six engine. But relax, this engine will deliver more performance and better fuel economy than the engine it replaces. With a total output of 450 HP, this new engine will sprint the M3 from 0 to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds, while top speed is still electronically limited to 155 mph.

Customers will have to choose between a six-speed manual or a twin-clutch paddleshift gearbox.

The competition in the sports coupe market is getting stronger by the day, so the future M3 Coupe will have to keep up with models like the Cadillac CTS-V Coupe and the Audi RS5. And let’s not forget that Mercedes is also preparing a C-Class Coupe that will most likely also have an AMG version.

When it comes to the CTS-V coupe, one would think that a German model like the M3 would have nothing to fear. Well, not exactly. The American sports coupe is more powerful with its V8 producing 556 HP and a sprint from 0 to 60 mph made in 3.9 seconds. The only advantage the M3 has is that it’s cheaper by about $5000, but is that enough?

As for the Audi RS5, here the M3 surely has some tight competition. Both models deliver 450 HP, but the RS5 has the advantage of having a turbocharged V8 engine, and a V8 engine seems more likely to impress a sports car fan. Not to mention the fact that the RS5 is a relatively new model, and people always look for something new.

When Can I Buy One?
The next generation BMW 3-Series will be revealed in 2012 at the Geneva Motor Show. The M3 is expected a year later with sales to begin in 2014.

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