We've just spied this afternoon this F80 M3 sedan prototype showing a power dome / hood bulge
for the first time. The M3 may have now entered the FEP (Final Evaluation Phase) stage of testing. Until now some M enthusiasts have been disappointed to see the lack of a power dome on previous prototypes, but this mule confirms that the F80 M3 and F82 M4
will feature an aggressively shaped hood.
We think that there is a possibility that the hood lip/bulge could feature a heat extractor vent to ventilate the engine compartment as well as enhancing the sounds coming from the engine. See our analysis
The rest of the camouflage remains as concealing as on prior mules. As seen clearly, the M3 kidney grilles are sportier than the F30 3 Series, yet not as thin nor wide as the recently exposed F82 M4 coupe grilles (pictured below for comparison). The headlights underneath the camo may (unconfirmed) also be a sleeker version of the F30 headlights, although they will join the headlights like the F30.
are also different than on previous mules, now with an upswoop at its end.
The side shots of the prototype show that the headlights will appear to be more recessed as a result of the beefy front bumper extending out further than on the F30 (think of the 1M headlight-bumper compared to the standard 1 Series). The production side view mirrors (which also be sportier in shape) have not yet been installed on any prototypes.
All in all, the appearance of a power dome, together with the super flared wheel arches and still-covered M body styling, is shaping the F80 M3 to be an aggressive looking sports sedan!
The F80 M3 / F82 M4 will be powered by an inline 6 cylinder engine with multiple turbochargers, pushing approximately 450 horsepower. The engine has been 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. But, we also think there may be a possibility that the engine turns out to be a reworked/enhanced version of a successor engine to the N55 (which has not yet been introduced). Both a DCT and manual transmission will be available. The blue brakes resemble the new 3 Series' M Sport brakes, paired with steel cross drilled rotors.
In case you missed last week's exciting video of the M4 coupe, we've posted it below, along with the M3 sedan's last sighting on video.
Follow our ongoing M3/M4 coverage @ http://www.bimmerpost.com/m3/f30m3/
The following is a summary of the facts we can be certain of regarding the F80 M3 / F82 M4:
*Click on images for hi-resolution version*
- 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
- Electric Power Steering (completely reworked for precision for M3/M4)