So it is happening: All-new BMW M3 spied with controversial kidney grille

Grille depicted is that from the M440i

Chances are that only the Competition will be offered in South Africa.

Its world debut now only two months away, the all-new BMW M3 has been spied once again undergoing what is likely to be final testing, albeit this time with very little disguise present.

Despite being teased earlier this month and having its outputs officially validated, the images posted by bimmerpost.com reveal that the highly controversial kidney grille of the 4 Series and M4 will be standard on the M3 in spite of not starring at all on the 3 Series.

Sporting noticeably wider wheel arches, the quad exhaust outlets in pairs of two, honeycomb air intakes on the lower part of the bumper and gloss black alloy wheels, the depicted model, based on the design of the wheels and the gold brake calipers of the upgraded M Sport brakes, appears to be the Competition which will produce 375kW/550Nm from the 3.0-litre straight-six turbocharged S58 engine.

It will also be offered exclusively with the xDrive all-wheel-drive system derived from that of the M5 and the eight-speed Steptronic gearbox, whereas the ‘regular’ M3 will produce 353 kW and come with the option of rear-wheel-drive as well as a six-speed manual. Torque will remain unchanged at 550 Nm.

When it eventually goes on sale in South Africa either towards the end of this year or in early 2021, chances are that only the Competition will be offered along the lines of the incoming facelift M5 and the X5/X6 M, meaning purists will miss out on the manual transmission and rear-wheel-drive layout.

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