The next BMW M3 could look very, very different

Divisive design looks more likely as BMW forums build strong case with evidence

2020 BMW M3 big grille projected

The upcoming BMW M3 has caused a massive stir on BMW forums overnight, as the incoming super-sedan’s spy pictures seem to have given away the design of its front end.

The apparent new design could turn Bimmer purists right off.

2020 BMW M 3 Render Jpg

Popular BMW forum Bimmerpost has created renderings based on the visible lines underneath the new M3’s camouflage, and it seems to check out. It looks like the next M3 and reportedly M4 are going to share a tall, elongated grille that’s more ‘ribcage’ than ‘kidney’.

The reasoning? Visible underneath the camo is a fairly obvious set of grille slats, and they travel all the way down under the number plate. Almost to the bottom of the bumper, in fact.

The fact this grille exists was all but confirmed by spy shots from within BMW’s production facility, posted by another forum user.

2020 BMW M 3 Factory Spy Shots Jpg

Though there’s no way to definitely confirm the grille belongs to the M3/M4, it looks an awful lot like the lines visible on the camouflaged M3 test car spotted at the Nürburgring.

The only hole that could be poked in this theory is that in the following video there’s another test mule, seemingly also an M3, which features camouflage that seems to be modelled over a more traditional grille.

Alternatively, BMW could be using the 3 Series to test the front-end of its next 4 Series, which is likely to receive the big-grille treatment based on the naming of the brand’s latest design exercise, the BMW Concept 4.

But, if the next 3 Series is to go for the ‘ribcage’ design, the estimation made by Bimmerpost also includes styling changes to the bonnet which lines from the bumper, meaning it won’t be as simple as swapping in the bumper from a different spec for those who aren’t into the new look.

2020 BMW M 3 Spy Shot Projection Jpg

MOTOR contacted BMW for comment on the next M3, but the brand’s local arm was unable to make an official statement.

UPDATE, 06/02/20: New leaks show more 4 Series details

Though likely not M4-specific, a new leak via @wilcoblok on Instagram shows more detail from the next 4 Series in what appears to be pre-production form.

The grill features a less prominent split down the middle, though it’s still a huge step up from the size of the previous version’s snout.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by ᴡɪʟᴄᴏ ʙʟᴏᴋ (@wilcoblok) on Feb 5, 2020 at 12:01pm PST

The tail light is also exposed in one photo, looking a little bit ‘Lexus’. We’re expecting to see the new 3 and 4 Series in about a month at the Geneva Motor Show.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by ᴡɪʟᴄᴏ ʙʟᴏᴋ (@wilcoblok) on Feb 5, 2020 at 12:26pm PST


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