We're not sure what to believe anymore. A bit over a year ago, reports surfaced that BMW was planning a successor to the E90-generation M3 CSL, a highly coveted, track-focused version of its legendary sports coupe. Within a month, the Bavarian automaker had announced that it was canceling the program. And then these photos show up.

This M3 test mule was seen lapping the Nürburgring with a host of modifications and little in the way of camouflage. Knowing full well that the Nordschleife is swarming with more papparazi than Lindsay Lohan's front lawn, the Bavarians had to know we'd start asking questions. The car in question appears to be sporting a big front splitter, giant rear wing, a wider track housing bigger wheels and semi-slick tires. Underneath, reports suggest the 4.0-liter V8 benefits from new valves and a carbon-fiber airbox to deliver some 470 horsepower.

Call it an M3 CSL or a roadgoing M3 GT4, but with Audi's upcoming RS5 just around the corner, the smart money's on BMW putting up a fight of some kind.

[Source: NextAutos]