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Spied: Next-gen BMW M3 testing at the 'ring

by Byron Hurd

BMW is testing its new performance models at the Nürburgring.

The Bavarians are having fun at the Nürburgring, as evidenced by the fact that spies have photographed two of their performance models testing with greatly reduced camouflage this week.

Here we have the new BMW M3, based on the new G20 3 Series which debuted in Paris earlier in October. This one is wearing more of a disguise than its smaller sibling, the BMW M2 CSL, which was spotted testing alongside it.

There's still quite a bit of checkered vinyl on this mule, but we can tell what's lurking underneath thanks to the big brakes, quad-tip exhaust and excessive quantity of air inlet cut-outs in the front-end camo.

There shouldn't be too many surprises under the hood. Power will come from a massaged, twin-turbo inline-six, and we expect output will exceed that of the naturally aspirated V8s powering the current crop of American muscle cars. Let's call it an even 500 horsepower, give or take, for the base-model M3.

Our spies tell us that the six-speed manual gearbox available in the current car will carry over (perhaps not part-for-part, but the point here is that the stick should be available). We'll see how market-dependent its availability is when BMW formally announces the M3 (and companion M4), which we expect to happen in 2019.

Photos by Chris Doane Automotive.