It will be interesting.
As far as the "let's wait and see how it performs" argument . We already know what a 450 hp M3 that weighs 150-200 lbs less performs like (CRT and GTS), and the new gen M3 will be larger and would be surprised if would achieve that type of weight reduction. So the performance figures given what we know are pretty much already known assuming 450 hp and -100/-150 lbs lighter. It won't likely be as fast as the M5 on straights based on power/weight (and product cannibalization prevention of M5 vs M3), but close to CRT/GTS (depending on how much weight is reduced). This would put the new version marginally quicker than existing (.1-.2 secs to 60, .4-.5 to quarter), torque advantage probably helps with power tracks, but larger size hinders smaller tighter tracks. GTS did N-ring in 7:48, so more likely around 7:52-7:55 for the new guy (8.05 for current gen, but that was pre DCT and ZCP). So small performance gain vs give up the V8...that's going to be the trade-off. With the current gen, a non-warranty voiding tune (no RPM limit raise), filter, pulley will get you about 430-440 hp, which will have very close performance wise to the new gen stock. New M3 can be modified for more HP, but ECU detecting PSI over- boost seems more likely to void warranty vs a tune on an NA engine (which rarelynhappens). This will present an interesting decision point for owners of the current gen considering moving to the new gen.
Originally Posted by e92zero
My 2 cents. I do love my V8 but times are changing and I am actually quite happy that BMW choose to stick with the I6 configuration (stay with it's root/character so to speak) when many other companies are going with V6 for whatever reason. (Is BMW the only one left with the I6 configuration?) In a way, BMW is still retaining some ideal and this is a good thing. I6 would retain the smoothness and probably yield a high redline. I would have been utterly disappointed if they went with a V6. Things can always be worse so we should just enjoy this and wait to see the actual numbers before we bash BMW. Cheers!
Now we have Porsche with their turbo boxster 6, Nissan with their turbo V6, and BMW with their turbo I6. Would be interesting to see how these 6 cylinders engines distinguish themselves from each other.
That being said, I would love to see someone put/shoehorn the turbo V8 from the new M5 in that engine bay (just like every generation of M3/M5)