Spring is in the air and automakers have returned to the Nürburgring in full force. The latest is BMW which was recently caught testing the 2020 M3 on the world-renowned course.
Dressed in swirly black and white camouflage, this particular prototype looks relatively tame but there are few telltale clues that this isn’t your ordinary 3-Series. Starting up front, we can get a glimpse of an aggressive fascia which has honeycomb inserts on the lower air intake.
Moving further back, we can see lightweight wheels that cover a high-performance braking system. The company’s test driver was obviously pushing this model pretty hard as several photos show the cross-drilled discs glowing from their intense workout.
Other notable touches include aggressive side skirts, a four-tailpipe exhaust system, and a reduced ride height thanks to the sportier suspension. We can also see a small rear spoiler, prominent character lines and extended wheel arches which compensate for the M3’s wider track.
The car’s interior will likely echo the standard model and this means we can expect it will have a more modern design with new switchgear that is cantered towards the driver. The car should also have a digital instrument cluster and the latest iDrive infotainment system.
There have been countless rumors about what will power the next-generation M3 but it is expected to use a twin-turbo 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine. The output remains the source of widespread speculation but it’s safe to assume the model will be more powerful than the current M3 which develops 425 hp (316 kW) and 406 lb-ft (549 Nm) of torque. How much more powerful remains the million dollar question as some reports claim it could have as much as 493 hp (367 kW) while others suggest a more modest rating of 465 hp (346 kW).
Regardless of the final numbers, the M3 is expected to be lighter than its predecessor as the car will ride on the CLAR platform. The model is also slated to use more aluminum and carbon fiber components as part of the effort to reduce weight.
BMW is keeping details under wraps but the new M3 will reportedly debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 2019.
*Post updated with new info and additional spy photos