BMW unveiled the next-generation 3 Series earlier this month. The automaker is keeping its full M variant under wraps, but our spy photographers managed to capture this prototype lapping the Nurburgring.
When we last spotted the new M3, it wasn’t wearing its production headlights. That has since changed, because the new units look a lot closer to BMW’s traditional design. The taillights now resemble those on the other new 3 Series models. The bold quad exhaust system, as well as blue brake calipers, signify the model’s high performance status in the 3 Series lineup. Unfortunately, there’s too much camouflage to see any side vents the M3 might be hiding. But you can bet the performance variant will have something on the front fenders to visually differentiate it from the more pedestrian 3 Series.
It’s likely the new M3 will receive an improved version of the automaker’s 3.0-liter twin-turbo inline-six. Power could reach as high as 470-500 hp, an increase from the current model that tops out at 453 hp on the CS version. While BMW has dropped the manual transmission from the new 3 Series, it’s likely we’ll see one on the M3, in addition to an available eight-speed automatic. Carbon-fiber components will help reduce weight over the current model. The next-gen BMW M3 could debut at the Frankfurt auto show in September 2019.
By the end of 2020, BMW plans to launch 26 high-performance cars. Eleven of these will be full M cars, and 15 will be milder M Performance variants.
Photo source: CarPix