BMW may have ruffled feathers by putting the huge 4 Series kidney grille on the high-performance M3. Judging from a recent spy shot, though, it appears that the regular, non-M 2023 3 Series will remain free of this controversial element even after its imminent, eventual facelift. We know this thanks to a black BMW 3 Series spotted driving outside the Nürburgring sporting a bunch of swirly camouflage obscuring its front and rear fascias.
BMW is preparing a mid-cycle refresh which makes sense, timeline-wise, considering the current G20-gen 3er has been around for about three years now. Thankfully, the camo isn’t too obscuring because we can already tell that the nipped-and-tucked compact BMW sedan will retain its relatively handsome and restrained kidney grille rather than inherit the extremely polarizing 4 Series-style front end.
Judging by the wheels and exhaust tips, the car you see here looks like the M340i variant. Curiously, however, it also appears to be rocking M3-style side mirrors. In my mind, there are exactly three possible explanations for this, ordered from most likely to least:
- This is a prototype and these were the only mirrors BMW had lying around.
- The M3 mirrors will soon be available on the M340i.
- This is actually the new M3 and BMW is removing the Bad Grille but because of some clause within its design department’s deal with the devil, the move will also saddle the M3 with worse wheels, lower-rent exhaust tips, and less aggressive fenders.
Mirror-related mysteries aside, this upcoming 3 Series doesn’t look like it will be drastically different from the car we know now, but if the recently-revised X3 and X4 are any indication, expect slightly more chiseled, cleaner looking details.
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