BMW M4 Spooling Up Its Turbo

Spy Shots

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.

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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.

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