The upcoming two-door M3, set to be called the M4, has been spied for the first time.
BMW is gearing up to replace the current M3 with a new model, and this is our best look at it yet. But the performance coupe will wear a different name when it makes its debut. That's because the Bavarian automaker is separating the two-door version of the 3 Series into a new 4 Series, mimicking the difference between the 5 Series sedan and 6 Series coupe, and a similar move by Audi to separate the A5 from the A4 and A6 sedans. And so, while a new M3 sedan is on its way, with the coupe version to wear the new M4 badge.
Lacking the flared arches, extended bumpers and diffuser expected on an M model, you'd be excused for thinking these spy shots were of the base coupe, but the quad exhausts setup confirm the test mule is hiding the M4's running gear. Although a V6 turbo engine was on the table, BMW ultimately opted for the traditional in-line six layout, as a throwback to the E46. The new models are expected to be powered by a twin- or triple-turbocharged 3.2-liter straight-six unit, which should manage in the region of 450 horsepower (a 30hp increase on the current model), combined with vastly improved fuel efficiency.
Expect the new M3 sedan to debut at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show, with the M4 coupe to arrive sometime after the release of the new 4 Series, perhaps as late as 2014.