With the launch of the new F30 BMW M3 scheduled for next year, it's inevitable that sightings of the car would increase, but we weren't prepared to be driving alongside it on the 405 Freeway this morning!
The camouflage pattern certainly gives the car's presence away and draws attention to some interesting details such as the roof, which appears to be curved like the M6. It may also be constructed from carbon fiber, which would be a first for a BMW sedan but weight reduction is still a major goal.
The narrow tailpipe positioning is reminiscent of the E9X M3 V8, but this time they'll be connected to a six-cylinder twin-turbo engine. You can read our full run-down of the M3 and M4 specification at www.europeancarweb.com in our rumors story, but it's almost certainly going to have 450hp. Debate still rages about whether there will be a manual transmission option or dual-clutch DCT only, with different BMW representatives equally adamant about both alternatives...
An interesting new feature for an M3 is the gap behind the front fender. This could simply be poor panel fit from the wider fender but on the road it appeared to be an actual vent.
This photo clearly shows the extreme width of the rear fender, exaggerated by the four-door layout that doesn't allow the flare to begin over the rear quarter panel, as it will on the M4 Coupe. These appear to accommodate 20" BMW M5 wheels, giving an indication of the width we can expect, as well as brake dimensions.
Up front, the hood still has a power bulge and there are some hefty side sills as well. You can also see the characteristic mirrors on their twin stalks that we've come to expect.
From this angle, it's difficult to tell if the trunk has a CSL-style extension to it, but the absence of a wing on such a high-performance sedan would suggest it does.
Even in this disguised form, the new F30 M3 has real presence on the road and will definitely be more muscular than the outgoing E90 model, thanks to those wide fenders.