The temporary fender flares hint that the performance sedan should have a more muscular look than what's on display here.
New spy shots provide another look at the next-gen BMW M3 during the high-performance sedan's development. The engineers still keep it under heavy camouflage, though.
This M3 features some interesting modifications to the body, especially around the fenders. Note the tiny flares sticking out from the fenders. This suggests that the designers intend to set flares there to allow for wider wheels, but the company doesn't want to show off the aggressive pieces yet. Looking at the sedan from a rear three-quarters perspective also possibly shows BMW's effort to hide the vents behind the front wheels.
Elsewhere, the company keeps the car's details very well hidden. Up front, the firm conceals the full shape of the headlights and the size of the grille. The situation is similar at the rear, especially the taillights. The quad exhausts on this test mule look mean but expect BMW to fit a diffuser around them for a more integrated look.
Reports suggest that the new M3 would continue to use a 3.0-liter biturbo inline six but possibly with the addition of a 48-volt mild hybrid system. This could boost power to as much as 500 horsepower (373 kilowatts), versus 425 hp (317 kW) from the existing standard trim. In addition, the new performance sedan might follow the M5 by going all-wheel drive, but unlike its big brother, the M3 could only offer xDrive as an option. The switch to BMW's CLAR architecture would allow the model's weight to drop.
The speculation goes that the M3 could debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 2019. Later, an M4 coupe and convertible will benefit from similar upgrades.
The current M3 might soon face retirement. The new Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicles Test Procedure for evaluating emissions might force BMW to remove the sedan from the market as soon as May.