With the current-generation BMW 3 Series having been on sale for a while now, it’s about time that we started seeing its high-performance variant, the M3, making the rounds. A lucky motorcyclist out for a ride in Southern California stumbled upon this video crew capturing a bright blue 2015 BMW M3 in action. As the police closed the road and the video crew turned around, the blue M3 made a quick U-turn, right in front of the rider’s helmet camera. We can clearly see the new car’s details, and even hear a little bit of its rumbling engine as it pulls away.
It’s the first undisguised view we’ve had of the upcoming BMW M3, and while we can’t make out any badges, there’s little doubt as to what we’re seeing. The aggressive front end styling, the four-tailpipe exhaust under an equally aggressive rear bumper, and the sporty wheel and tire combination all say “M3.” Then there’s the fender vent, which so far has been exclusive to BMW’s line of coupes. Here, it rounds out the sedan’s sporty look.
BMW hasn’t confirmed anything yet with the next-generation M3, but we do expect the car to return to its roots, at least somewhat. The current model’s V-8 engine will be ditched in favor of a classic M3 engine configuration: An inline six-cylinder, with twin turbos bringing the power up to somewhere around 430 hp. Expect that engine to be connected to either a six-speed manual transmission, or BMW’s excellent seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. After years of getting heavier, the rumor is that this new new M3 will be notably lighter than the current car thanks to extensive use of carbon fiber–the black roof here look carbon fiber to us–which will make the car quicker and more fuel efficient.
Expect the final, official debut of the M3 at the Detroit Auto Show in January next year. We’ll keep an eye out to see if we recognize the scenery.