The next G80 BMW M3 has been caught by our spy photographers so many times that, to be honest, we’re getting a little sick of it. However, this latest batch gives us our first glimpse of the interior and confirms once and for all what the company has already intimated – that this car will get a manual transmission.

A rare sight to see in a modern BMW, the row-it-yourself gearlever sits within the cluster of buttons on the centre console and features the usual M leather-wrapped gearknob. Other M-specific touches include the meatier steering wheel with M1 and M2 setup buttons (and paddles, weirdly enough), a red starter button, a tricolour motif on the seat belts and steering stitching and beefy front seats.

We also get a look at what appears to be the Competition model, with its own pair of seats. The design is more aggressive than on the outgoing F80‘s pews, with the backs seemingly made out of carbon fibre, plus larger cutouts on the backs and bolsters. This should save plenty of weight compared to the standard units.

Otherwise, the development prototypes you see here are largely similar to previous mules. The camouflage still obscures the huge bucktoothed double kidney grille this car is set to get, but bares the slim 8 Series-style headlights, flared fenders, double-arm door mirrors and large rear diffuser with the trademark quad exhausts.

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 and rear-wheel drive, 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 switchable rear-wheel drive mode – from the latest F90 M5 and F92 M8.