Posted Sep 13th 2012 4:15PM
We've just received a set of spy photography that, for once, is focused on what is inside the car rather than what is visible on the exterior. That's exciting stuff, as the car in question is the next-generation BMW M3, and the engine in question is the stuff of great import where enthusiast drivers and Bimmerfiles are concerned.
The most important fact revealed from these shots, is that the 2014 M3 will be rocking an inline-six engine in place of the high-revving V8 from the current car. That news is welcome on two fronts: it represents a return to the engine configuration that we most associate with BMW performance, and it suggests a further development of the six-pot we've come to love in so many of the brand's current models.
The photos confirm that the engine is likely two have turbochargers at least (there are two pipes feeding the intercooler), and they do not contravene rumors that a third, electric turbo lies just out of sight.
Displacement figures for the engine still remain a bit of a mystery. It has been reported that the next M3 could be as voluminous as 3.3 litres, though it's more likely, based on a BMW tech report claiming use of optimized, 500cc-cylinders, that the total size is 3.0 litres. In any event, everyone's best guess about power output hovers around the 450-horsepower mark.
Please also note the very sturdy strut tower bracing that is visible under the hood (as if you could miss it). Forego any worries that the new hot 3 Series will be anything less than rock-solid mid-corner.
When you're finished browsing our photo gallery, please to continue on below, where we've posted some video footage of the 2014 M3 testing in Germany. Engine pics go better with engine sounds, no? Scroll down to check 'em out.