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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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 80 Comments
      Ak74
      • 3 Years Ago
      Prince on the Ring
      jsimzo
      • 3 Years Ago
      those are some fender flares!
      Lachmund
      • 3 Years Ago
      in future the M3 will always be a sedan. there won't be a M3 coupé anymore. it will be called the M4 as the coupé will be called the 4 series
        You guy
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Lachmund
        They said they were going to do that before, and it never happened. I'll believe it when I see the 4 series in a showroom.
      htay9500
      • 3 Years Ago
      Aside from that bashfest from M3 haters... I have high hopes for this car, make it good!!
      Jason
      • 3 Years Ago
      It's really cute how people take some other people's comments a bit too seriously down there. Who really gives an F what the other person thinks?
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        Krishan Mistry
        • 3 Years Ago
        #1: Fiction. M3 E92 Ring time: 8:05. IS-F Ring time: 8:18. Look it up #2: Opinion or gross exaggeration. M3s dont have "horrific" reliability, and IS-F certainly isnt bulletproof #3: Opinion, though most will agree the M3's interior fit and finish and overall layout is superior to the IS-F #4: Debatable. Name one key notable feature the IS-F has over the M3 aside from the stupid 'industry first' 8 speed slushbox. Quad stacked fake exhaust tips? #5: Fiction. IS-F sedan base price: $60,660. M3 sedan base price: $55,900. #6: Opinion. And one that only you seem to have. Every review I have seen of the IS-F claims it is good for Lexus' first sport sedan, but that dynamically it falls short of the M3 on almost every front. Even with the updated suspension (less backbreakingly stiff and unsettled) it still barely approaches or meets the lap times and handling figures, and the M3 subjectively is voted better for its steering feel, razor sharp chassis, good tractability throughout the rpm range (ISF has more torque, but less at lower rpm), and overall one of the purest most refined drivers cars ever to have 4 seats. OOPS, looks like Fried_Rice got burned attempting to prove JDM superiority and failing yet again.
          ryan
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Krishan Mistry
          You fail Fried rice, u ask other people for there source, then dont give any yourself. Yes u are a troll because you keep saying the same sh!t over and over. Jdm rock everone else sucks very opend mined person you are.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Krishan Mistry
          [blocked]
        Trevor
        • 3 Years Ago
        "Better interior"......... hahahaha lexus interiors are "bland" mixed with a lot of "boring", and always a pinch "no ergonomics".
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Trevor
          [blocked]
        stuck in 90s
        • 3 Years Ago
        Wait a minute... What was your principal reason for being here, not even mentioning posting comments here?? Exercising your freedom of speech here to make your ISF feel more loved? IS your ISF not getting enough attention in the streets? people can't differentiate your car from a regular IS? I am trying to understand you so maybe we can help ...
        iimprezu
        • 3 Years Ago
        Even if all the above ridiculous comments were true. Please see the following: FACT: The IS-F is a Toyota. (And I'm a fan of the IS-F) but bashing the M3.. c'mon now! :-p
        Vineeth Vazhayil
        • 3 Years Ago
        Yesterday it was the Audi A4 Allroad you were after, today its the M3? ! Get a life dude! At least state the truth. You had a similar bunch of facts to talk about the TSX wagon over the A4. You should post all these "Facts" in your imaginary world!
        wallstreet
        • 3 Years Ago
        Ever notice that everyone trolls M3 posts yet M3 owners don't troll anyone? I have yet to encounter a problem with my M3. Have fun with your jap crap.
          ravenosa
          • 3 Years Ago
          @wallstreet
          "Jap crap" as opposed to "Kraut Krap"? Classic douchemobile driver...
          • 3 Years Ago
          @wallstreet
          [blocked]
        • 3 Years Ago
        [blocked]
          clquake
          • 3 Years Ago
          Don't people who own M3's & ISF's have more important things to do than playing on AB?
          • 3 Years Ago
          [blocked]
          Lachmund
          • 3 Years Ago
          FACT: ISF?! you don't even drive a Corolla!
        me
        • 3 Years Ago
        Then why has the ISF lost in almost every single comparison, from American to Euro to Japanese publications?
          Moreno636
          • 3 Years Ago
          @me
          FACT: You have no proof that BMW paid off the magazines.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @me
          [blocked]
          AE86
          • 3 Years Ago
          @me
          I would take a ISF over a M3. For those that talk all this bad about the ISF.. just know that on car and driver lighting laps the 2011 ISF put down the same track time as the M3. Im no troll but you can deny that. Thats a awesome thing being the ISF first gen. With the LFA engineers on board the F models the next ISF is going to be a real problem. I love the fact the ISF is more rare then the M3 I see M3s on the road to the point that I dont really pay them any attention. In person the ISF does have more presence then the M3 in the flesh. I like the V8 roar over the M3's sound also. I been inside both cars and the ISF interoir is better looking and feeling then the M3. The ISF offers alot of great features standard where if the M3 was to have the price of the M3 would rocket. Both are great cars I'd take either one. But to me the ISF is more unique then the M3. A Comparsion change all the time. I dont like cars are buy cars based on a comparison because everyone has different things they like a comparison are what the reviews liked... not what everyone else is going to buy. This is why you see so many different cars on the road. There is no BEST car.
        Duk3ofN3rd5
        • 3 Years Ago
        FACT, the ISF has no SOUL just like every other LEXUS. FACT, the ISF has no RACING heritage FACT, the ISF is a TOYOTA FACT, the ISF is a TOYOTA with LEATHER SEATS. LOL This is FUN!!
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Duk3ofN3rd5
          [blocked]
        • 3 Years Ago
        [blocked]
        EyEwearGlasSeS
        • 3 Years Ago
        I'm pretty sure those are called opinions.
          Lachmund
          • 3 Years Ago
          @EyEwearGlasSeS
          you are one SAD figure
          • 3 Years Ago
          @EyEwearGlasSeS
          [blocked]
        Saracen
        • 3 Years Ago
        Proof the M3 has "horrific reliability", you have none. In fact they're pretty damn solid. As for fun to drive? Pretty much anyone who has driven them back to back disagrees with you.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Saracen
          [blocked]
        stuck in 90s
        • 3 Years Ago
        ColumbianRicer Agreed on your FACTS, But what you wrote : "ISF also has better handling and is more fun to drive" is not FACT ;) too subjective... FACT: M3 are more desirable, and more popular than ISF ... i think someone is a tad jealous. But you know what? ISF or M3, i would be happy with either one of them, great cars... M3 just has that "je ne sais quoi" just can't explain it... M3 is just Magical i guess...
          • 3 Years Ago
          @stuck in 90s
          [blocked]
        deeeznuuuts83
        • 3 Years Ago
        Have you yourself driven both the M3 and IS-F?
          Lachmund
          • 3 Years Ago
          @deeeznuuuts83
          i don't think anyone here believes you friedrice
          • 3 Years Ago
          @deeeznuuuts83
          [blocked]
          • 3 Years Ago
          @deeeznuuuts83
          [blocked]
        Levi Riel
        • 3 Years Ago
        You know the best video with the ISF in it, its the one when its getting crushed for street racing. http://carbuzz.com/news/2011/10/19/Video-Lexus-IS-F-Crushed-for-Illegal-Street-Racing-7705322/
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Levi Riel
          [blocked]
        AE86
        • 3 Years Ago
        I would take a ISF over a M3. For those that talk all this bad about the ISF.. just know that on car and driver lighting laps the 2011 ISF put down the same track time as the M3. Im no troll but you can deny that. Thats a awesome thing being the ISF first gen. With the LFA engineers on board the F models the next ISF is going to be a real problem. I love the fact the ISF is more rare then the M3 I see M3s on the road to the point that I dont really pay them any attention. In person the ISF does have more presence then the M3 in the flesh. I like the V8 roar over the M3's sound also. I been inside both cars and the ISF interoir is better looking and feeling then the M3. The ISF offers alot of great features standard where if the M3 was to have the price of the M3 would rocket. Both are great cars I'd take either one. But to me the ISF is more unique then the M3.
          Lachmund
          • 3 Years Ago
          @AE86
          do you call a copycat a copycat if it only copies itself?!
          jtav2002
          • 3 Years Ago
          @AE86
          AE86, are your 'control' and "V" keys on your keyboard stuck?
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        Varcity
        • 3 Years Ago
        pos? really? The Cadillac is trying to beat THIS car, same as all other manufacturers. Get real.
        iimprezu
        • 3 Years Ago
        Seriously, that's stupid. I've owned 7 BMWs and put on well over 200,000 miles and have not experienced a single breakdown. The same cannot be said for my friend's dad's Z06 which is on its 3rd tranny (bought new and has less than 10k miles and garaged and pampered) and their family's CTS-V which has been in the dealer's service bay quite a few times, or my friend's Pontiac Firebird (2002) which literally has no brake lights, and has a slipping transmission and a wonky cooling system (with only 55k garaged miles) I have MANY, many more GM nightmare stories. I'm sure there's stories of broken BMWs as well. Point is, all things being equal (if they are), you're comparing apples to oranges. Quit dreaming and enjoy your enterprise rent-a-car GMs!
        Lachmund
        • 3 Years Ago
        another BS comment by our beloved sophia. this is a site for car lovers, not fanboys/girls. crawl back under your stone TROLL
        Where's the cheese?
        • 3 Years Ago
        Sophia and Columbianricer should go **** the **** out of each other.
        Where's the cheese?
        • 3 Years Ago
        Sophia and Columbianricer should go f*ck the sh*t out of each other.
        • 3 Years Ago
        [blocked]
      tomtomtom
      • 3 Years Ago
      Actually the lexus starts at $62165. The bmw $55,900.
        AE86
        • 3 Years Ago
        @tomtomtom
        spec for spec the M3 like the ISF and the M3 price jumps
        clquake
        • 3 Years Ago
        @tomtomtom
        It would be sweet if anyone could actually get either of these for msrp.
      Post
      • 3 Years Ago
      The ISF is only offered with automatic transmission (paddle shifters). I would rather drive a Prius than an ISF, any day. If it doesn't have a manual (real manual with three pedals) I'm not at all interested.
        clquake
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Post
        I would think you'd be equally disappointed since there's no manual tranny in the Prius.
        Krishan Mistry
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Post
        I wouldnt go that far (Arent all MB's auto?) but the M3 is definitely the better of the two.
          tipdrip215
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Krishan Mistry
          The base C300 still offers a manual.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      jtav2002
      • 3 Years Ago
      Amazing how much of a clusterf*ck this article turned into. Who cares? I like the IS-F myself but would much rather have an M3 or RS4. I do prefer the IS-F interior to the last gen M3(3 series) but I'm not making any claims on materials, fit and finish, etc. I just personally prefer the look of the layout.
        miketim1
        • 3 Years Ago
        @jtav2002
        The ISF beat the RS4 on the track and the ISF is faster in a straight line. The RS4 is my all time fav audi. I dont care for the R8 or anything else in the Audi line. Gimme the RS4.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
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