A More Affordable Old-School BMW M3 Is On the Way

The next generation BMW M3 is on its way and with a new, more affordable, no-frills, manual-only trim as well. It’s about time.

The next generation BMW 3-Series is set to debut at the Frankfurt Auto Show in September, later this year. And, if a report from the UK’s Car Magazine is accurate, a more affordable, no-frills M3 and M4 are in the pipeline as well.

According to the report, the nickname for the two stripped-down M cars is “Pure M3 and M4,” alluding to a back-to-basics ethos. The Pure M cars will be rear-wheel-drive only and come with a six-speed manual but will pack less horsepower than the forthcoming standard M3 and M4. The 3.0-Liter inline-six engine will be limited to 454 hp and an as yet unknown level of torque, but it’ll definitely be under 480 lb-ft, as BMW doesn’t have a manual transmission that can handle anymore twist than that.

Superficially, both will get uniquely sculpted front and rear bumpers and possibly model-specific paint jobs. On the inside, unique instrument clusters, and color-matched fabric and Alcantara upholstery, are likely. If the price is coming down to an “entry-level” point, don’t expect the creature comforts of the plush, high-end models — remember, pared down is the theme here.

Car Magazine also notes that next-level Competition, CS and CSL versions are also in the works. But, looking at how well the barebones 911R and 911T went over with the crowd, this minimalist approach is a smart move and will fly off showroom floors.

In a world of sports cars increasingly becoming more complicated, computerized and disconnected from the driver, there’s a yearning for something more simple. The modern M3 is listed as a big offender of becoming more digitally laden, and fans of the M cars have no doubt been sending BMW pointed emails asking for this car. It’s about time Bavaria answered the backlog of prayers.

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