The sharp shooters at KGP spyshots caught the future BMW M3 high temperature testing in Death Valley and Autoblog has a full gallery dedicated to the beast here. As we have reported on in the past, this revolutionary vehicle will feature many M3 firsts.
What we can now see in this image is that the M3 will follow the design path from the X5M up to the latest M6, with aggressive and angular air intakes in the bumper. It will also have a different front look compared to its base model 3 series as is evident by the redesign of the kidney grills. Wheels are 19 inch and brakes will be of the fixed piston variety with the now typical blue M caliper coloring. This prototype is also showing off a “power dome ” hood bulge that unlike earlier reports pointed it as a vent for cooling, it more likely is for engine clearance or looks alone because it would have been exposed during this round of heat testing to check functionality if it was a vent.
What we do not see in these images is what ‘s under the hood. Sources have pointed us towards 450hp as a “nice number ” and that the engine would be based on a future power-plant from the N55 engine family. The engine will have reworked valvetronic and double vanos systems as well as a new head and a reinforced block to cope with the added stresses of high boost from multiple turbo chargers. Plumbing under the hood will be extensive to ensure engine responsiveness and cooling which should account for the “power dome “. Shifting will be accomplished by either an M-DCT or 6 speed dry sump gear box with taller gearing in 6th to increase highway mileage. Steering will for the first time in an M car utilize EPS.
The headlights, mirrors and other styling cues are from the F30 3 series sedan and will be adjusted to M spec as testing progresses. We excitedly await this car, as it is said to be a true game changer and may even make us forget the fabulous S65B40 V8 from the current generation M3… that will sure be a tough act to replace! The Concept car is anticipated to make its auto circuit debut next year in Geneva with a production model launch in Fall of 2013 to coincide with the Frankfurt Auto Show.