Now that we have a clear glimpse of the 2012 BMW 328i and 335i, it's time for us to set our sights on the next chapter of the 3 Series story: the M3. Our trusty spy photographers caught this prototype doing its thing on the Nürburgring, and though there's still lots of swirly camouflage, it's pretty easy to see how the new 3 Series' design will adapt to the bulgier M shape.

What's still unknown, however, is exactly what's powering the next M3. It's no secret that BMW will be dropping the naturally aspirated 4.0-liter V8 in favor of a turbocharged six-cylinder setup, but we've heard reports that the automaker's traditional inline-six may be nixed in favor of a brand new V6 configuration. Either way, expect the new M hotness to pack somewhere around 450 horsepower, and by using a forced induction setup, there should be substantially more torque on tap than the current car's seemingly puny 295 pound-feet.

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