I spy with my little eyes…
…Something turbocharged! With the introduction of the new F30-generation BMW 3 Series at the end of 2011, hype and speculation has been building surrounding the new, upcoming BMW F80 M3. The last E9x M3 sported a naturally-aspirated 4.0-liter V-8 with just over 400 bhp. The engine was lighter than the outgoing inline-six and produced more power than ever, achieving low four-second 0-60 mph times.
But the days of big-displacement engines are coming to a close thanks to new fuel efficiency standards and with it come all sorts of forced-induction fun. It’s not all doom-and-gloom though, as the inline-six will be returning to the M family in the new BMW F80 M3. This is especially good news as many of the automakers (even BMW) are abandoning the use of inline-sixes, for more refined V-6s and smaller displacement inline-fours.
Thanks to the work of automotive spy shot guru Brenda Priddy & Company, the new engine bay of the BMW F80 has been caught butt-naked in its prototype stage. It confirms what most of the rumors have been saying; the new M3 will feature a turbocharged inline-six and have well over 400 horsepower. As we can see here, there are at least two turbochargers feeding all six cylinders. A new water-to-air intercooler sits right next to the engine and cools the air before it is forced into the manifold.
The engine bay is a lot to digest and leads to quite a bit more speculation, one being the rumored use of a third electric turbocharger. It’s hard to tell if one is being used here, but it’s always fun to play the guessing game. Much of this turbocharger and forced-induction expertise comes from the lineup of N54 and N55 engines that have powered many a BMW model. This version used in the BMW F80 will likely build upon the advancements made in its predecessors and feature a lot of new, exciting and efficient technology that will still put you back into your seat.
Also, the new M3 was caught testing at the Nürburgring on video.
BMW F80 M3 Spy Video
[Source: Brenda Priddy & Company]