If you were planning on picking up an F80-generation M3 new from BMW South Africa ahead of the reveal of the next-generation model, we have some bad news for you: the outgoing version of the performance sedan has already quietly left the local line-up.
Yes, after rumours that the Munich-based brand would cease production of this model a little earlier than originally anticipated (ostensibly to avoid having to re-engineer components to allow the vehicle to meet the requirements of the new Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure), the high-performance saloon has been pulled from BMW SA’s online configurator.
Last listed new for the price of R1 264 361, the outgoing M3 made 317 kW and 550 N.m from its 3,0-litre twin-turbocharged inline-six. Fitted with the optional Competition Pack, peak outputs rose to 331 kW and 550 N.m, while the M3 CS (pictured above) took things a step further still, to 338 kW and 600 N.m.
While the M4 is still listed locally (in convertible, coupé and CS guises), fans of the four-door M3 are facing a fairly lengthy wait for the next-generation model, which has yet to be revealed. In fact, there’s every chance the hottest version of the recently revealed G20-generation 3 Series range will arrive only in 2020.
Of course, if you’re looking for something to tide you over until the appearance of the full-fat M3 (and are prepared to wait a little while, too), BMW SA has confirmed the new 275 kW M340i xDrive derivative will touch down locally in September 2019.