The next-generation BMW M3 will be offered in three distinct versions, all with different characteristics and power levels, according to a Bimmer Post forum member who has been known to make accurate predictions in the past.

The M3 range will, according to the member’s ‘inside’ source, kick off with a ‘Pure’ model that’s available exclusively with rear-wheel-drive and manual transmission. The Pure will reportedly be tuned to 327kW, slotting it - in power terms - between the current ‘base’ model (317kW) and Competition (331kW).

Next up is a middle model that the source refers to as the M3 ‘base’, and which is cranked up to 350kW and offered only with all-wheel-drive and an automatic gearbox.

Topping the range, at least until the CS and GTS versions presumably arrive at a later stage, is a Competition model that’s tuned to 373kW and also offered exclusively with AWD and an autobox.

The source did however state that other combinations are possible, and that all versions will get an M differential as standard, as well as adaptive damping, while carbon ceramic brakes will be optional.

All of the above is likely to apply to the next M4 too.

Fans might have quite a wait on their hands, with the BMW source stating that production of the new M models are only due to start in 2020, and likely later in the year.

According to Autocar, the next generation M3 and M4 will be powered by an “extensively revised” version of the current turbocharged straight six engine, possibly featuring water injection as per the outgoing M4 GTS.

The UK publication also reports that the new M3 will be the last M model to go without any form of hybrid electrification, with engineers keen to keep weight to a minimum.

IOL Motoring