A new report out of the United States claims that BMW will pull the plug on production of the current, F80-generation M3 as early as May 2018, despite the fact that the next-generation version of the high-performance sedan is expected to arrive only in 2020.
The reason? Well, according to BMWBlog, the new Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) that comes into effect at the start of June has essentially convinced the Munich-based automaker to end M3 production earlier than planned.
This upcoming global standard for determining fuel consumption and emissions will apparently mean some petrol-powered vehicles must be fitted with new emissions control devices (particulate filters, from what we understand). The new report suggests that adding this device to the M3 would be “technically very complex” due to space limitations, and there have been murmurings that it would negatively impact performance, too.
Of course, back in August 2017, BMW announced that the carbon-fibre-reinforced-plastic driveshaft used on the M3, M4 coupé and M4 convertible would be replaced by a steel version to “create the necessary technical basis for meeting future statutory emissions requirements”. At the time, BMW said that “at a later point in time, a petrol particulate filter will be incorporated into the existing installation space in these models in major markets”.
But the German automaker has seemingly changed its mind on the M3. Interestingly, the BMWBlog report claims that production of the M4 coupé and convertible will continue past the end of May, although the reasoning for its apparent survival is not yet clear.