In late 2006 when the M faithful had found out BMW were doing away with the lovable inline-6 that had graced the M3 since 1992, people were outraged. Things like, “I’ll never by that stupid new M3”, “What a mistake!!!”, “There goes the M3…” were all said. In much harsher ways, obviously.

You see, BMW were killing off the 6-cylinder motor and putting in a new V8. A V8, into the hoonigan’s perennial chariot. Well, that’s like McDonald’s not selling greasy, fatty, disgustingly tasty cheeseburgers any longer.

Everyone hated it… until BMW released it. Now everyone has one, including yours truly. I must admit, I was not one to go up in arms. I was perfectly fine with the decision, if I’m honest.

But now the news hath been handed down: The next M3 will be an inline-6 again, most likely with a twin-turbo setup; possibly a third electronic turbo could show up to help out. The Euro-Diesel BMWs now have a tri-turbo setup, and BMW have talked about testing it out in a gas powered motor like the M3.

How many liters? We’re not sure. I’d say not to expect anything less than 3.5-liters. Also, watch for around 450 hp, 400+lb-ft of torque, and about 3400-3550 lbs in total vehicle weight.

Personally, I think they should have kept the 4.0-liter V8 in the current M3, and just add some efficiency to it, as well as a little extra torque. Maybe bore and stroke the motor to be like the GTS/CRT M3s with 4.4-liters, 450 hp and 325 lb-ft of torque.

Unfortunately, here’s some actual bad news. In an odd decision from God only knows whom, BMW will likely accept the change that the 3-Series will remain the sedan, but the coupe will now be a 4-series, making. This means the F80 will be the M3, and the F82 will be the M4. I’m saying it right now, find me this guy, because the BMW faithful would like to collectively punch him in the nuts.

There supposedly was an actual V6 used for testing, basically the 4.0-liter V8 less 2 cylinders and a liter. However, the engine proved to be too heavy, and also wouldn’t fit quite as well under the hood.

I’m so proud BMW are being more like Audi (A4/A5). Mercedes-Benz used to be dumb, having the C-Class sedan and the CLK-Coupe. Now, though, they’ve wisened up, making the sedan and coupe the C-Class.

Whatever their engine decisions, there’s one thing that’ll always remain a constant here in the US of A: A manual transmission.

[Image Source: Theophilus Chin]

[Per a douche bag commenter, I’ve decided to add a source: BMW]