As we reported earlier this year, the current E90/E92 BMW M3 will be the last of the naturally aspirated M cars, and if recent rumors are to be believed, BMW will adapt the single-turbo N55 inline-six for duty in our favorite 3 Series. But how many turbos?

Some reports indicate two, while others say three (two traditional snails and an electric turbo). But no matter the configuration, expect output to be up over 450 horsepower and torque to swell to nearly 400 pound-feet.

Regardless of what's under the hood, development of the next M3 is well underway in Germany as BMW gears up for the release of the standard 3 Series successor.

This first batch of M3 spy shots don't show much aside from blacked-out 19-inch wheels, a widened body sans hood bulge and quartet of exhaust pipes. Stylistically, the next 3er is set to take cues from the recently revealed i brand, including new "angle eye" LED daytime running lamps that are flat on the top and bottom, and fitted to a more upright, angular fascia.

The fully redesigned 3 is set to debut later this year, with sales beginning in early 2012. As for the M3, don't expect it to hit until 2013 as a 2014 model.

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