Test driving a 450 hp rear-wheel drive saloon in the snow sounds like hard work, but if you’re the official test driver for BMW it’s probably a lot of fun. Having previously been taken on to the race track at the Nurburgring, our shots show the new 2014 BMW M3 being put through its paces during winter testing. With BMW’s new naming structure that designates the coupes and convertibles with an even number and leave the odd numbers for the saloon cars, this four-door will be the only one to carry on the M3 nameplate.
At first glance little seems to have changed since the first prototype was tested, but if you look a bit closer you’ll see a new boot lid spoiler. It’s clearest in the profile image, which also shows the optional M Carbon Ceramic brakes that now have six-piston callipers rather than the four used on the earlier test machine.
On the snow the test driver wouldn’t have been able to use the full 450 hp produced by the inline-six cylinder that’s replacing the V-8 found in the current model. As well as losing two cylinders, the new engine will be a lower displacement as we’re expecting BMW to return to the 3.2 litre configuration used in the E90 based M3. Twin-turbo chargers will boost the power by 30 hp. Better fuel economy is promised, so the current economy of 22.8 mpg will be improved on and emissions will be lower, which will please anyone fortunate enough to have one as a company car.
We’re expecting to get a proper look at the M3 during the 2013 Geneva Motor Show in March when a thinly disguised ‘concept’ version will make its debut.