All those who lament the dilution of the M badge won't like this news.
The next generation BMW 3 Series () is fast approaching. We have been (known internally as the G80) will be like, but we now have details (courtesy of ) about the sub-M3 models. As with other models in the BMW lineup, the 340i will be rebadged as an M Performance model and the first 3 Series on the new G20 platform will be a rear-wheel-drive M340i M Performance with a 360 horsepower twin-scroll turbo inline-six.
Following the M340i will be an all-wheel-drive M340d xDrive M Performance with a 320 hp twin-turbo inline-six diesel engine. If we had to guess, this high-performance diesel model will not be sold in the US. These new performance variants of the 3 Series follow the strategy taken by the and the (formerly the M235i). As with those models, the 3 Series M Performance cars are meant to act as a sort of "M Car Light." These are not true M Cars, but rather BMWs which have been "enhanced by M." A similar strategy has been taken by Mercedes-Benz with its AMG 43 line and Audi with its S models.
After the M Performance models are launched, BMW will follow up with more mainstream versions of the 3 Series in sedan and wagon body styles. There will also be a M440i M Performance Coupe and M440d M Performance Coupe based on the new 3 Series platform, which should arrive in 2020.