This could be our last look at a BMW M3 prototype before the production model debuts next month.
BMW is struggling to keep prototypes of the new M3 and M4 out of sight from our spy photographers. We recently caught the BMW M4 under-going some last-minute testing at the Nurburgring. Now, our spies managed to get some close-up shots of a BMW M3 Competition pre-production prototype stopped at a traffic light for our viewing pleasure. This will likely be our last look at a prototype before the final production version debuts next month, but we expect BMW will tantalize us with some official teaser photos and videos before then.
Camouflage is still covering the front and rear, but sections of the white production body are fully exposed on the side profile and sculpted hood.
From those stylish wheels with intricate spoke designs, we're looking at the range-topping Competition model. We also get a closer look at the new polarizing kidney grille design carrying over from the new BMW 4 Series.
The grille stretches across the full height of the front end, but as a recent render showed, it would have looked better if it was wider and shorter. Elsewhere, we have no complaints about the new design. Flared fenders make the new M3 look more muscular than its standard 3 Series sibling and the prototype also sports a quad exhaust system and a trunk lid spoiler.
Since this is an M3 Competition prototype, power will be provided by a 3.0-liter twin-turbo six-cylinder engine producing 510 horsepower, while the regular M3 will have 480 hp. Initially, power will be sent to the rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic in the new M3 Competition. An all-wheel-drive system will also be available at a later date.
If you prefer to row your own gears, the regular M3 will be equipped with a six-speed manual, which will also send power to the rear wheels. With more power and an upgraded suspension system, the new BMW M3 should be more satisfying to drive than ever before. All will be revealed next month when BMW lifts the wraps off the new Isle of Man-painted M3 and M4.