2014 BMW M3 spy shots
Rumors of a possible triple-turbo six-cylinder have been the headliner for the next-generation M3 (though we aren't sold on the idea) and other reports have suggested that the two-door versions of the car will feature M4 badging and arrive after the sedan (this, we do agree on).
This latest prototype of the M3 is sporting the car’s trademark power bulge on the hood, while the familiar BMW ring-shaped headlights can be clearly seen beneath their own strips of obscuring tape.
We also see the new lower intake design, revealing a look similar to that seen on the latest M6 range but with its own unique style. Looking closely at the front fenders, it also appears that BMW engineers have left an opening in the camouflage for a possible vertical fender vent.
Look for BMW to trim weight wherever possible, too, and word is that the next M3 could come in below 3,300 pounds, which is some 209 pounds lighter than a current 335i sedan.
Power estimates for the car’s expected M Division turbo six range from 400 to 450 horsepower, with BMW's characteristic straight-six engine layout a given. Whether it will feature two turbos (as we expect) or three (as rumored), it is said to be all-new, rather than an updated version of the N54/N55 found in the current 3-Series lineup. Displacement is expected to be around 3.0 liters.
Rear-wheel drive will remain standard, but with a trick torque vectoring system distributing forces to either side of the rear axle as needed. A similar unit is fitted to the latest 2013 BMW M5. A seven-speed M-DCT dual-clutch transmission will also feature, though a six-speed manual will remain the standard fare. Another option will be carbon ceramic brakes.
While you wait for the new M3's arrival, hit this link to watch a video of a prototype hard at work at the legendary Nürburgring race track.