The next-generation G80 BMW M3 has already commenced testing, and with the G20-generation 3 Series having made its debut, the full-cream M version shouldn’t be too many months away from taking a bow. Rumours of a two-pedal-only iteration of the iconic sports sedan were present, though management at BMW are still considering the survival of a manual M3, according to BMW Blog.

The choice of driveline for the forthcoming M3 apparently also continues to be the subject of debate within the company, where the sports sedan may either retain its classic rear-wheel-drive layout, or adopt an all-wheel-driven setup as recently adopted for the F90 BMW M5.

At launch, the G80-generation M3 is expected to use a 3.0 litre twin-turbo inline-six that powers the current M3 and M4, and is likely to produce upwards of 465 hp. The S55 engine that serves in those models has been rumoured to be up for replacement in the new generation, which could mean a new engine that shares the current capacity and layout.

Granted, there have been all-wheel-drive M models prior to this, however those have been the SUVs in the X5 M and X6 M mould, and the F90 is the first of the sedans to adopt the adaptive all-wheel-drive layout which allows for a configurable, 100% RWD setup.

For now, the latest G20-generation 3 Series with the most potent punch is the M340i xDrive, packing a 3.0 litre turbo inline-six with 374 hp and 500 Nm of torque, helping the car attain the 0-100 km/h sprint in 4.4 seconds. The four-pot 330i produces 258 hp and 400 Nm of torque, attaining 0-100 km/h in 5.8 seconds.

With some way to go in its development, the G80-generation BMW M3 could make a 2019 debut at a European motor show, this likely being the Geneva Motor Show.

GALLERY: G80 BMW M3 spyshots