Slowly but surely, the pieces are coming together for the new G80 BMW M3. The latest version of Munich’s benchmark high-performance compact sedan – based on the regular G20 3 Series – has been caught undergoing testing, and these latest spyshots show the car with its production body panels for the first time.

As is usual for an M car, it gets a beefier stance than the cooking sedan, with a wider track width hidden by the more muscular fenders. Dual-arm wing mirrors also make an appearance, and one should also expect the trademark gills to sprout up aft of the front wheels of the production model.

Naturally, most of the changes will be clustered around the front of the car, and just like the current car, the M3 will likely share everything ahead of the A-pillars with the M4 (note the disappearance of the 3 Series’ “fanged” headlights). Now, it’s quite clear that all models of the 4 Series – including the M4 – will receive the massive and highly controversial double kidney grille that was previewed on the Concept 4.

And while BMW has taken great care to obscure the face of this test mule, the presence of an offset radar sensor for the adaptive cruise control (usually mounted in the middle) is enough evidence to suggest that the M3 will also receive the bucked teeth. The rear end is far less polarising, fitted with a large diffuser and the obligatory quad tailpipes.

Expect the M3 (and by extension, the M4 coupé/convertible) to be powered by the X3 and X4 M‘s S58 3.0 litre twin-turbocharged straight-six, producing 480 hp in standard form and 510 hp in the more hardcore Competition. The company has previously hinted that the two models will retain the option of a manual gearbox, but only on purer (i.e. standard) variants.

This leaves the door open for the Competition model to gain the oft-rumoured eight-speed automatic and all-wheel drive – the latter with a rear-wheel drive mode – from the latest F90 M5 and F92 M8.