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First look: BMW's next M3 breaks cover

Spicy: M3 concept features a "high revving V8 engine".

At long last, BMW reveals its wicked new M3 V8 coupe at the Geneva motor show

7 Mar 2007

AFTER years of speculation and anticipation, BMW's piping-hot new-generation V8-powered M3 super-coupe has emerged in the shape of the lightly disguised "BMW M3 Concept Car" at the Geneva motor show opening this morning local time.

But if the E92 3 Series coupe-based show car's appearance - and the lack of information that came with it - is a little underwhelming, the performance from its "high revving V8 engine" will mostly definitely not be.

Just as it did with the current M5, BMW makes it clear the Geneva concept is "an impression of the next generation M3 Coupé", and has confirmed its V8 is "anticipated for the series car once it goes into production".

That's expected to be in the final quarter of this year, following the production car's reveal at this year's Frankfurt motor show - but there's precious little other information about the model that must best the brilliant new twin-turbo 335i to become king of BMW's compact coupe range.

14 center imageSpeculation that BMW would present a twin-clutch transmission, such as the VW Group's DSG auto, in the M3 concept has proven wide of the mark, but our betting is still on an M5 V10-derived V8 displacing around 4.0 litres and delivering about 300kW - mated to the M5's seven-speed SMG transmission.

Finished in BMW M’s traditional concept paint finish of "Chrome Shadow", the concept features new-style front quarter vents, quad exhaust outlets, a bootlid spoiler, aggressive front and rear bumpers, pumped-up side skirts and 19-inch Y-spoke alloy wheels - pretty much what the production version should bring.

The biggest change from the E92 coupe upon which it's based is an alloy bonnet with prominent power dome, flanked by two air inlets.

There are also exclusive new wind tunnel-tested wing mirrors with a black double foot that aims to look like an aircraft wing.

"The BMW M3 represents the cutting edge of BMW driving superiority, and the Concept revealed at the Geneva motor show is more than a hint of what we can expect to be driving very soon," said Guenther Seemann, BMW Group Australia managing director. "The new high-revving V8 engine, extra-sleek body styling and the high-technology CFRP roof are the highlights of what will be a scintillating driver’s package. "The M3 Coupé has driven its way into the hearts of all hard-core driving enthusiasts around the world and in Australia the previous generation sold in excess of 1500 examples, underlining its broad appeal in a market segment it created." In terms of its bodyshell, BMW says only the doors, bootlid and head/tail-lights have been carried over from the E92.

BMW makes much of the concept's advanced carbon-fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) roof panel, like that seen on the limited-edition E46 M3 CSL and M6 coupe.

But whether it - and the host of other technologies long speculated to feature on BMW's next iconic M3 - reaches production remains to be seen.

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