Here’s a small quiz for you – it’s German, it can drift, it’s going to be really fast, and will have a fully digital instrument cluster. What is it? Let us help you – it’s the next generation BMW 3 Series we are talking about with internal code G20.

We’ve seen it testing a number of times already and it’s back in one of its hottest versions, the M340i. Think of it as the next best thing to the M3 and a direct competitor against the Audi S4 and the Mercedes-AMG C43. Seen in the attached video is a prototype lapping the Nurburgring and, judging by its pace, it’s not there to chase lap records, but for some endurance tests.

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Under the hood of the M340i will be one of our favorite BMW engines, the 3.0-liter straight-six B58 engine with 340 horsepower (254 kilowatts) and 369 pound-feet (500 Newton-meters) of torque. Naturally, it will be mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission from ZF, sending power to the rear wheels, although some sources claim an xDrive AWD system could be available as an option.

BMW 3 Series Spy Photos
BMW 3 Series Spy Photos

What we do know for sure is that the next-gen 3 Series will move to the Bavarian automaker’s new CLAR architecture that also underpins the current 5 Series and 7 Series. The new platform is believed to shave off approximately 88 pounds (40 kilograms) of the current car’s weight by making more extensive use of aluminum and a little bit of carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP).

Diesel fans will be able to opt for a new range-topping model, the M340d, which could receive BMW’s quad-turbo 3.0-liter diesel. In the 7 Series luxury sedan, this motor generates 394 hp (294 kW) and a massive torque of 560 lb-ft (760 Nm), but we expect to see smaller numbers in the compact sports sedan from Bavaria.

Source: Automotive Mike

Gallery: 2018 BMW 3 Series M Sport spy photos

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