Spied: new BMW M3

Spy photographers have caught the first images of the new BMW M3 testing near the Nurburgring

Pictures of the new ‘F30’ BMW 3-series have barely been released, and already spy photographers have captured a prototype of the new M3 near the Nurburgring.

The four-door test mule – complete with the M3’s trademark quad exhaust tailpipes – shows that BMW is pressing ahead with the development of the new car earlier than normal in the 3-series model cycle. Company insiders have previously admitted they want to increase the lifetime of M-cars, meaning they will be launched closer to the introduction of the basic models.

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The M3 badge is likely to only be used on the saloon version, as the coupe and cabriolet versions are set to wear 4-series branding, meaning the M version is likely to become the ‘M4’ – we’ll leave the motorway-based puns to you.

There are no official mechanical details to bring you yet, although BMW insiders have all-but confirmed that the new car won’t use either an eight cylinder or a four cylinder engine, meaning we can anticipate a return to a straight-six configuration, likely working in conjunction with either two or three turbochargers. Like the new M5, the M3 is likely to have significantly improved fuel economy and reduced CO2 emissions.

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