If you are holding out for a BMW M3 performance update before slapping some cash down on an example of the popular super sedan, then don’t wait for its mid-life update in the third quarter of this year.
The German carmaker has confirmed that the M3’s so-called LCI (Life Cycle Impulse) refresh will be limited to a light exterior aesthetics tweak, minor interior changes and a mild technology update, and its M4 sibling is set for the same treatment.
When the updated version arrives at a point between July and September this year, the maximum output of 331kW and 550Nm as provided by the Competition Pack version will remain unchanged, while all other major mechanicals will continue on as they are.
Exact local specification and pricing will follow closer to the launch later this year, but WhichCar has learned a rough outline of what to expect when the M3 is given its mid-life refresh.
At the back end, the M3 tail-lights will be updated to contain the same state-of-the-art organic LED technology that debuted in the rear lenses of the mighty M4 GTS and recently revealed M4 CS.
Its headlights and nose will also be given a mild makeover which will maintain the overall outline but add a new LED projector layout, in a similar fashion to the tail-lights.
On the inside, no major cabin layout will be rolled out with only a scattering of new interior materials to mark the LCI as well as a number of new customisations available on the options list.
The update is completed by a step up from BMW’s widespread information and entertainment system to iDrive 6, which brings improvements to user-friendliness and a simpler tile layout complemented with touchscreen operation.
Apple CarPlay and enhanced voice commands are also included in the iDrive update for more natural conversational controls with the press of a single steering wheel-mounted button.
With ongoing strong sales of all M-Car models including the M3, it would appear that a major update is not necessary to boost demand and sales in Australia as highlighted by BMW Group Australia corporate communications general manager Lenore Fletcher.
“It’s not a huge update,” she said.
“Our M sales have been really strong over the past three years and growing each year. We’re up 22 percent over the same time last year.”
The M2 continues to be the most appealing model in the M line-up with 130 examples delivered in the first quarter of this year, but Fletcher said that the M3 was also continuing to attract a decent audience and more significant updates were not out of the question.
“Since the vehicle was launched we have had a repositioning and we think we have found the sweet spot for that vehicle within the Australian market. That’s not to say there would not be further updates as we go through its model cycle.
“We’re always looking at new ways to appeal to our customers.”
One such update could be the introduction of a new higher-performance CS version, following the M4 CS that was revealed this week, bringing a number of driver-focused features including more power and torque.