BMW’s 2020 performance car line up will be massive, driven by a new M3

BMW’s M line of performance cars is set to get beefed up, with 26 M models making up the range spearheaded by the BMW M3.

Beemer has big plans to release a series of high-performance M cars and slightly less savage but still gutsy M-Performance machines, all with the goal of grabbing back some of the market share rivals like Audi and Mercedes have stole from the Germanic car maker with their own performance vehicles.

A new BWM M3 will be the first car to drive this line up, with Autocar reporting that it will make its debut at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show and will be ready to chew up UK tarmac come 2020.

“Along with the M5, the M3 is a crucial car for BMW M,” said Frank van Meel, the engineering architect behind the M strategy. “It wasn’t the first fully fledged M car but it continues to stand for everything the brand is based upon.”

The M3 is arguably one of the most iconic cars from BMW’s M range, having gone through many iterations, but with the super saloon version becoming a modern automotive icon. So it makes sense that it’ll be the flag bearer for a revitalised M range strategy.

“BMW itself has significantly more models than BMW M. But we are looking at where we can expand our programme in the future. There is huge potential for growth,” added van Meel.

“We are looking at all BMW models to see if we can make an M or M-Performance model out of them, although there must be sufficiently large customer demand before we commit. With M-Performance, we can reach buyers not possible with classic M models.”

This seems like an ambitious move given BMW already has a 2018 M5 ready for release in February. But for car fans after a vehicle that mixes performance yet still has a degree of practicality, the expansion of the M range could be a boon.

And with that expansion, Beemer will likely ensure next-generation versions of current M cars gain better performance, sharper handling, and make use of lighter materials and innovative powertrains.

While the M range may have performance as its main dish, the cars are also not short on tech either. So we would expect next-generation M vehicles to have the latest and greatest versions of BMW’s iDrive infotainment system and like some of the latest cars from Mercedes, make heavy use of digital dashboards and head units with sharp displays. We’d also expect to see an improved ConnectedDrive system as well.

How exactly such a strategy will play out is open to speculation, but come 2020 we can expect a cohort of BMW M series cars to be ready to take on the best from fellow Teutonic car brands.

Related: BMW’s new ‘performance’ X3 SUV for 2018

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