- The G80 M3 takes on the Nurburgring for some track time.
- This is the second appearance of the performance sedan after it was spied in Munich last December.
- The test mule fails to hide flared wheel arches, aggressive styling, and a boot lid under all its cladding.
- New CLAR platform will help shed some weight, while the powertrain that has been retained will get a bump in output.
- Expected to debut in 2020 after the launch of the new-gen G20 3 Series next year.
BMW is prepping an all-new generation of the G20 3 Series sedan for a year now. However, in December 2017, the Bavarian carmaker took to the streets with the first prototype of its performance derivative of the saloon, the M3. Now the G80 BMW M3 has been spotted careening hard on the gruesome Nurburgring.
Set to arrive no earlier than 2020, the next gen M3 will move to BMW’s all-new CLAR platform following the steps of its elder sibling – the F90 M5. The prototype spotted on the German track seems to be wider than the current F80 M3. The characteristic flared wheel arches can be seen in all its glory as the performance sedan pushes hard into the right-hand corner of the Green Hell.
The test mule has not dropped any camouflage from its previous sighting. So the massive air intakes up front, sharp creases and aerodynamic mirrors are all present. However, the GTS-esque wheels seen before have been replaced by five-spoke blacked-out wheels on the front and seven-spoke chrome and gunmetal alloys at the rear wheels. There appears to be a subtle boot-lid spoiler hiding underneath the cladding as well. Meanwhile, the iconic quad-exhaust tips are still in early stages of development. Interestingly, the roof of the test mule didn’t have any concealment whatsoever.
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. The good thing is, there will be an obvious bump in power so we must be looking for an overall figure of near 500 horsepower under the bulging hood. It is uncertain 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 that BMW will oblige 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 year's 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 years to come.