BMW’s test driver shows off his sideways driving skills in these latest next-gen M3 spy shots.
The Competition versions of the M2 and M5 may be stealing the spotlight right now, but don't forget there will be a new BMW M car on the block in a few years. We’re talking of course about the brand-new BMW M3, which is expected to debut either in 2019 or early 2020. Truth be told, not much is known about BMW’s upcoming sports sedan, codenamed the G80, but we’ve been treated to new images of it in action after our spies caught a test driver powersliding an M3 prototype around the Nurburgring. For “work” purposes, of course.
Welcome to the life of a test driver everyone. There’s a good chance the next-gen M3 could adopt the M5’s xDrive system giving the ability to switch between all- and rear-wheel drive, though nothing is official yet. Alternatively, it could be reserved for a higher-end model. Clearly though, it’s the rear wheels that are getting a workout in this test session. This is still a very early production prototype, as evidenced by the two different sets of wheels and brake calipers that don’t match. Thick layers of camouflage prevent us from analyzing the styling details, though the larger wheel arches suggest it will be wider than the current model.
In terms of powertrains, rumors suggest the sixth-generation M3 will be powered by an upgraded version of BMW M’s twin-turbo 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder unit mated to either a standard six-speed manual or an optional eight-speed automatic. Other rumors have suggested it will be a mild hybrid with a 48-volt electric system. Power output could also increase to 500 horsepower, which would be a welcome increase over the current 453-hp M3 CS. While the all-new M3 won’t break cover until next year at the earliest, the standard next-generation 3 Series is expected to debut before the end of this year.