The upcoming G80 BMW M3 has been spotted barreling down the Nurburgring before, but here we see a prototype mule with less camouflage undergoing a similar high octane test. As with all M cars, this mule sports the typical widebody M look, as clearly seen with the flared wheel arches.

Changes to this iteration include the possibility of larger, possibly carbon-ceramic brakes on both front and rear axles. A quick glance from the back also reveals the quad exhaust tips, which is a typical trait of the M3. However, unlike the outgoing F80 M3, the next-generation model will be available in a number of offerings, including the possibility of an all-wheel drive variant.

At launch, the G80 M3 is expected to use the new S58 3.0 litre twin-turbo straight-six petrol engine, featuring the high-tech water injection system first seen in the existing M4 GTS. The same engine – 55 hp and 50 Nm more than the S55 3.0 litre engine – powers the newly-launched X3 M and X4 M. Output is said to be as high as 480 hp, although sources say a ‘milder’, stripped-out 460-hp variant could supplement the line-up.

For driveline, the ‘base’ M3 (internally known as the M3/M4 Pure) may be had with a six-speed manual transmission, with drive exclusively sent to the rear wheels. Meanwhile, the AWD M3 with a rear-biased M xDrive system could get an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Meanwhile, reports say there’s no plans for an M3 Touring. A source from BMW M said that in 2020, the M model range will include the M4 Gran Coupe, which may pose as the indirect successor to the M3 Touring.

For now, the latest G20 3 Series with the most potent punch is the M340i xDrive, packing a 3.0 litre turbo inline-six with 374 hp and 500 Nm of torque. It does the century sprint in 4.4 seconds. The four-pot 330i produces 258 hp and 400 Nm of torque, and does the 0-100 km/h in 5.8 seconds.

GALLERY: G20 BMW M340i xDrive