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What’s next for the BMW M3 and M4? Water injection and electric turbos, report says

The next-gen BMW M3 and M4 may finally reach the 500-horsepower benchmark by the end of this decade, using two breakthrough technologies to do so.

A new report by Automobile Magazine claims that the M3/M4 will use electric turbos and a water injection system for the upcoming generation, due by 2018, which could net a 69-hp increase for the current M duo.

Water injection has been used in drag racing, military aviation, and even production vehicles like the Ford Escort Cosworth for years, and the German brand recently employed the technology on its M4 MotoGP safety car.

Water injection sprays a fine mist of H20 into the engine’s collector before it enters the combustion chamber, which lowers intake temperature, increases density, and reduces the motor’s tendency to knock. This brings the point of ignition closer to the optimum value, BMW says, which reduces thermal strain on components like the pistons, exhaust valves, and turbochargers. The increased efficiency also means more power overall. 

Related: To keep its engine cool, BMW’s MotoGP safety car injects some high quality H2O

The standard 3 Series lineup will also boast new technologies. Codenamed G20, the next-generation lineup will reportedly equip adjustable suspension dampers, switchable anti-roll bars, active steering, and a torque-vectoring system to increase driving response while actually softening the ride overall.

The car is also expected to feature a longer wheelbase, wider track, lower center of gravity, and a smaller curb weight to compete with new offerings from Mercedes-Benz and Audi.

Under the hood, the 328i’s 2.0-liter, 240-hp four-pot is likely to receive a 20-hp bump, while the 3.0-liter inline six from the 335i will improve to around 365 ponies.

More aggressive brakes and reduced-friction wheel bearings should be in store as well.