BMW announced late last year that it was planning a return to the highly competitive Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) touring car race series and then last month revealed that it would be unveiling a concept version of its new DTM race car on July 15.

Now, less than a week out from that date, we have spy shots of a prototype for the new BMW DTM race car testing at a track in Aschheim, Germany.

The latest images confirm that the race car will be based on the BMW M3 Coupe, though the final design may certainly change before the automaker starts competing next year.

BMW will be represented with three teams in the DTM in 2012: BMW Team Schnitzer, BMW Team RBM and BMW Team RMG.

To see spy shots of the prototype in full, follow the jump below.

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