BMW M3 prototypes have been spotted under test every now and then for the last few months, but always with the front end covered with a black vinyl "bra" or other covering to hide the car from view.

BMW M3 prototypes have been spotted under test every now and then for the last few months, but always with the front end covered with a black vinyl "bra" or other covering to hide the car from view.

Now these latest photos, taken just recently in the US southwest, capture an M3 Coupe as it undergoes high-temperature testing. For most test driving conditions the prototype still has the front end covered, but for some testing the disguise needs to be removed, giving our spy photographer the opportunity for a clear look (and clear photos) of the M3's bold front end design.

One can also note the four exhaust pipes and wider fenders that distinguish the M3 from other 3-Series odels.

The powerful M-version of BMW's 3-Series is scheduled for launch next year only. The 3-Series M will be available initially as coupe, and later as convertible and four-door.

For the first time power will come from a V8 powerplant, derived from the M5 and M6. It is a 4.0 litre engine delivering 415 HP. Transmission is a seven-speed SMG gearbox. A traditional six speed manual transmission will be offered as an option.

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Spy Photos: BMW M3 Coupe Uncovered