Well, it’s finally official. We’ve known about the massive grille coming to the G80 BMW M3 and G82 M4 for some time now, but Munich has stopped hiding it behind camouflage. Our spy photographers have caught the prototype of the M3 without any hard disguise, revealing a front end that is sure to stoke controversy.

Even though the hot sedan will be based on the 3 Series, it was going to get the 4 Series‘ toothy maw whether you’d like it or not. Every M3 four-door to date (E36, E90 and F80) has shared the same front end with the coupé version to save cost, and it’s the same deal here.

In any case, the M version’s angrier face helps the look to no end, the downturned air intakes on either side being a much better fit for the grille than the standard 4 Series’ almost gurning grin. The grille itself also loses its chrome surround and comes with slats instead of “dashes”, while the usual Air Curtain inlets channel air through the corners of the bumpers, drawing turbulent air out of the wheel wells.

Along the side, the M3 benefits from substantial fender flares that accompany the wider track, hiding the much larger and broader wheels and tyres. The bespoke wing mirrors feature the typical M twin-spar design, and at the back, you get a subtle boot lid lip spoiler and a beefy rear diffuser with real quad tailpipes.

A raft of new details of the new M3 and M4 has already been released – both cars will be powered by a new S58 3.0 litre twin-turbocharged straight-six that produces 480 PS in standard form. In this guise, the cars will be offered with rear-wheel drive and either a six-speed manual gearbox or an eight-speed automatic.

The Competition model ups the power output to 510 PS and 650 Nm of torque and will be available exclusively with the automatic, along with the option of M xDrive all-wheel drive. As usual, an M-specific chassis setup throws in an upgraded suspension, springs, dampers and braking.