We spotted a couple of brand-new BMW M3s on the go

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BMW just unveiled the M3 and M4 performance compacts, and we already know everything about them. We’ve seen the updated exterior design with the massive kidney grille and how much power comes from the revised inline-six engine. So why should we care that an M3 was spotted testing on public roads with no camo on the body? Well, these are the first shots of the performance sedan in real life: no studio shots, no editing, no digital glitz or glamour. Until the M3 rolls off the assembly line and hits public roads, this is our best look at the four-door sedan in the wild.

New Spy Shots Hint That BMW Is Still Trying to Fine-Tune the 2021 M3 Exterior Spyshots
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Needless to say, it doesn’t look all that different from the car showcased in the official photos. But many of its styling features look slightly less aggressive in the absence of digital production.

It's still decidedly sporty, and the massive kidney grille still takes some getting used to, but we can also spot some imperfections.

There’s a rather unpleasant gap between the engine hood and the nose, and the way the hood runs into the headlamps isn’t very attractive to my eyes.

New Spy Shots Hint That BMW Is Still Trying to Fine-Tune the 2021 M3 Exterior Spyshots
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But the good news is that we’re looking at a regular M3 model. I’m saying this because the sedan in BMW’s official photo gallery is actually a Competition variant with loads of black accents, carbon-fiber-reinforced plastic trim, and all sorts of special features.

This one boasts the standard, body-colored mirror caps and rear spoiler, as well as the black-painted exhaust pipes.

It’s also "wrapped" in one of the new, exclusive colors. This one’s called Sao Paulo Yellow, and it’s a slightly metallic, bright yellow color with a gold tint. If you like the Competition model better, our paparazzi shot a second M3 with black mirror caps and rear spoiler and finished in Alpine White.

New Spy Shots Hint That BMW Is Still Trying to Fine-Tune the 2021 M3 Exterior Spyshots
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As a brief reminder, both M3 models are powered by a twin-turbo, 3.0-liter inline-six engine. The base model comes with 473 horsepower and 405 pound-feet of torque on tap, while the M3 Competition puts 503 horses and 479 pound-feet of twist to the ground.

Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read More
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