The next couple of years will be busy for BMW's performance division, M. Just how busy? Well, they have five cars in the pipeline, along with two 'tamer' M Performance models to go along with them. Exciting times for the M division indeed.
Starting with the most 'sedate' models, we'll be seeing the M340d and M340d Touring come next year. As the affixed 'd' suggest, these will be performance turbodiesel models. While specs aren't mentioned yet, it is likely that these models will use the same, or possibly upgraded, diesel engine found in the 840d xDrive Coupe and Gran Coupe.
If we were to base the stats from the 840d, the M340d sedan and Touring will have 320 PS and, more importantly, 680 Nm of torque. With that engine wrapped in a smaller, lighter body, we expect the M340d models to be faster than the two-tone 840d. That means the high-performance 3 Series diesel could likely do the 0 to 100 km/h sprint in less than 4.9 seconds.
Up next is the M2 CS and BMW is currently keeping their cards close to their chests for this particular model. Given that the 2 Series has moved to a front-wheel drive platform, it is possible that what they are making is something more of an all-wheel drive Audi RS3 rival. On the other hand, it could also mean that the current 2 Series Coupe will linger on for a few more years as the last rear-wheel drive model in the 2 Series range.
At about the same the the M2 CS will be revealed, BMW will also unveil the facelifted version of the current-generation M5. No details yet if there will be power upgrades, but do expect some minor underchassis tweaks for it.
On to the main highlight: the all-new M3, M4 Coupe, and M4 Convertible. BMW addressed some rumors regarding the car, namely the possibility of all-wheel drive and the manual transmission being dropped for good. The automaker confirmed that it will, indeed, have all-wheel drive and the system that will be used for it will be similar to the one found in its big brother, the M5. That means you can have either an even split of power between the front and rear wheels, a little more push from the rear, or full rear-wheel drive.
Also, purists will enjoy the fact that BMW won't be dropping the manual transmission after all. They say that, despite the automatic being a more popular choice around the world, they believe that there are still more than enough customers to justify building a manual version of the upcoming M3 and M4.