BMW is prepping up an all-new generation of the G20 3 Series sedan. The Bavarian carmaker has now taken to the street with the first prototype of the performance derivative of the saloon, the M3. What you are looking at are the exclusive first shot of the performance saloon that was spotted testing near the carmaker’s headquarters in Munich, Germany.
The next-gen M3, which is internally referred to as the G80, will move to BMW’s all-new CLAR platform following the steps of its elder siblings – the 5 and 7 Series. The prototype seems to be wider than the current F80 M3. Although the test mule is highly cladded giving out no design clue whatsoever, we know it was riding on a larger track with wider 19- and 20-inch wheels. The wheel design is scrounged directly from the hardcore M4 GTS.
The camouflage fails to hide the massive air intakes up front. The characteristic flared wheel arches, sharp creases and aerodynamic mirrors are all present as well. The headlights are expected to be similar to the new generation G30 5 Series while the BMW’s iconic kidney grille will be redesigned as well. At the back, the taillights will be even sharper than the current car. The distinctive quad-exhaust port sticking out of the massive muffler at the back seems rudimentary at this stage. A discreet side skirt and trunk lid spoiler are also visible on the prototype.
Moving to the newer platform will help the new-gen M3 loose some extra kilos as the just like the M5. Major weight reduction will come from the carbon fibre roof. The super sedan is expected to tip the scale at around 1500 kilograms with a perfect 50:50 weight distribution. The new car will also grow in size. Under the hood will be the same turbocharged 3.0-litre straight-six motor. But it will be heavily revised to make it more modern, powerful and even more efficient than the current one. A 48-volt mild-hybrid system for the motor is also on the cards but nothing has been confirmed yet. The good thing is, there will be an obvious bump in power so we must be looking for an overall figure of around 500 horsepower under the bulging hood of the new-gen M3.
It is unsure whether the Bavarian carmaker will plonk in the new xDrive four-wheel-drive system in the upcoming M3 as they did with the new M5. The transmission will be strictly automatic but we hope BMW to bless the purists with the three-pedal version as well. The different body type including a coupe (the M4) and the convertible will follow along with the CS and Competition Pack guises.
The M3 will break cover in a years’ time after the debut of next-gen 3 Series sometime in 2019. The new M3 is an important car for BMW as it will spearhead a range of M badged performance cars in the coming years.