UPDATE: New photos of the mystery shrouded BMW model spotted at the BMW Museum shows that it is indeed a coupe shape, ruling out the possibility that it is the F80 M3 sedan. However, new info and clues provide some guidance on what it may be.
The car is confirmed to have quad exhausts, which confirms that it's an M model. We can think of two upcoming M models expected in the next 2-3 years bearing the shape and size suggested by the photos - the F82 M4 Coupe and M6 Gran Coupe. The rear tires on this model give further clues. They are Michelin Pilot Super Sports in 275/35/19 size, which is too small for the M6 Gran Coupe, which should share similar size tires as the M5/M6 - 295 width rear tires.
The front photos also show what appears to be the new BMW headlight shape design, in which the headlights flow into and connect with the kidney grilles. This was introduced with the 2012 F30 3 series and will be seen on future BMW models, including the F80 M3 sedan and F82 M3 coupe. The M6 Gran Coupe, which will share the same front fascia as the 6 Series Gran Coupe, does not feature this new headlight design, further eliminating it as the model that's potentially under the cover in the photos.
So, perhaps this truly was an F82 M4 coupe prototype (running model or non-running design model), to be uncovered at an after-hours internal event for review by BMW executives and officials.
A mystery BMW model appeared at the BMW Museum a bit over a month ago, shrouded under a big blue tarp. It's yet to be positively identified, but could this possibly be the next generation F80 M3 sedan or F82 M4 coupe?
There's not much to go off of by way of the sparse photos, but the one part of the car that can be partially seen - the wheels, happen to match the wheels that have been spotted on the F80 M3 sedan prototypes from our spy photos
. The car is also said to have had quad exhaust and 275/35/19 Michelin Pilot Super Sports.
It's premature for a F80 M3 concept to be shown, much less an F82 M4 coupe (the F32 4 series coupe upon which the M4 will be based has not even debuted), but is it just our hopeful imagination or do the letters written under the tape in one of the photos possibly read "F82". If this car is indeed the next M3 / M4, what is it doing at the BMW Museum? What we can postulate is that perhaps it was there for a showing to or review by BMW executives.
Don't expect the F80 M3 concept to have a world reveal until sometime in the first half of next year, with the production F80 model debuting at an auto show in late 2013, and actual sales beginning in the Spring of 2014.
The F80 M3 and F82 M4 will be powered by an inline 6 cylinder engine with multiple turbochargers, pushing the engine's output to approximately 450 horsepowers. The engine is now rumored
to be an extensively reworked and reinforced N55 6-cylinder engine
with a strengthened aluminium block with a heavily modified cylinder head. The Induction technology is said to be completely new as will be the latest bi-vanos variable valve timing.
It's now being reported by BMW insider Scott26 that the F80 M3 will not be constructed extensively from carbon fiber (CFRP), as some reports had rumored. The F82 M4 coupe will receive a CFRP roof, but because this next generation M3/M4 began development two years ago, it was too early to take advantage of BMW's CFRP developments with the later introduction of the BMW i cars/project. The first model (besides the i cars) that will have extensive CFRP incorporated into its construction will be the next generation 7 Series, as reported earlier
Even without extensive CFRP construction, the next M3/M4 will be lighter than the current M3 sedan and coupe however, owing to its new aluminum chassis, and aluminum and reinforced plastic body panels.
Despite the next M3 sedan being at least 1.5 years away, we know the following. It will be:
- Lighter than current M3
- Faster than current M3
- More powerful than current M3
- More efficient than current M3
- Powered by an inline 6 cylinder [turbo] engine
- Offered with optional or standard manual transmission (if previous spy photos are any indication)
- Electric Power Steering (completely reworked for precision for M3/M4)
- Introduced no earlier than late 2013 - early 2014