A 2014 M3 test prototype resumed testing at the Nurburgring yesterday and the strip tease continued by way of a possible (or intended) camouflage malfunction. Here's what we see.
By coincidence (?), the passenger side lower front bumper camouflage was flapped open during the test runs, revealing and confirming the air curtain vents on the F80. Whether the camouflage was peeled back to feed air to the air curtains for testing purposes, resulted from a camouflage malfunction, or was purposely peeled back to tease us, matters not. What's important is that we get the first clear look at the air curtain vent, which appears very large judging by the amount of space between the air curtain vent outline and the outer edge of the still camouflaged lower front bumper. Perhaps they are even large enough to have the added function of cooling the brakes. For a view of what the front end, including air curtains, may resemble once uncovered, we've reposted our render below.
With recent models, BMW has incorporated air curtain technology into front apron designs to optimize aerodynamics (see the 1M, 1 Series LCI, and 7 Series LCI). The air curtain vent reduces drag by forcing the air to flow more aerodynamically around the front wheels.
By the way, check out the fenders in photo #5 below ... talk about wide! The fenders appear to be finished, so expect a super aggressive stance from the F80, as we've been seeing in the spy photos so far.
Kidney Grilles / Headlights
Some of the camouflage has also been peeled away from the kidney grilles, presenting the best look yet at the nearly completely revealed kidney grilles. A close-up crop shows that the grilles are actually taking on more of the F30's look. The earlier levels of camouflage gave the grilles a sportier/sleeker look (than they really are) by covering up parts of the grilles. Now that the camouflage has melted away, revealing nearly all of the grilles and a different look than before, we would not be surprised if the F80 M3 shared the same kidney grilles as the F30 3 series. We've posted a comparison photo below for reference.
F80 vs F30 grilles. Notice the F80 grilles are still partially obstructed by the camouflage.
If the F80 M3 features the same kidney grilles as the F30, it may then also have the same headlights as the F30 3 series. Or, perhaps the ill-fitting look of the F30 headlights on the prototype seen in these photos hint that the F80 will have restyled headlights (not yet fitted?) compared to the F30. The spy photos are not yet telling enough, so we'll have to wait and see.
As for the mirrors, yes, they are still the F30 mirrors. But, we can expect to see a sportier styled mirror on the production F80 (if not the concept).
The following is a summary of certain facts regarding the F80 M3 / F82 M4:
- 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)
- Tires (from prototype) - Michelin Pilot Super Sport: 255/35/19 (front), 275/35/19 (rear)
- M3 Introduced late 2013 - early 2014 (concept debuts earlier)
- M4 Introduced no earlier than late 2014
- Front bumper/apron styled after M6 & 1M, with air curtain technology
Follow our ongoing M3/M4 coverage @ http://www.bimmerpost.com/m3/f30m3/
* Click on images for higher resolution version *
BIMMERPOST F80 M3 Renders