The next BMW M3 will take a leaf out of the M5’s book, slashing sprint times with all-wheel drive and bringing water injection out of the margins and into the mainstream. With the G20 full-generation change of the 3 Series due in 2020, M is already cramming its version full of body stiffening, extra power and more grip, sources insist. It will retain the 3.0l, twin-turbo, in-line six-cylinder powertrain, but will ditch the dual-clutch transmission for an eight-speed automatic unit. Critical to its straight-line sprints, it will offer rear and all-wheel drive, with a rear-biased torque delivery it hopes will help to retain the vehicle’s traditional rear-drive feel. It’s going to need all of that grip to channel the engine’s rumoured 368kW (a neat 500 horsepower) and 600Nm of torque as it carries over most of the M4 GTS’s powerplant, though with more production-friendly engineering. The water-injection system was first trialled in the M4 and has been deployed in the MotoGP safety car ...

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