2013 BMW M3 F80 prototype testing on the Nurburgring – video

November 9, 2011

BMW M has been spotted testing the new 2013 BMW M3 F80 sedan on the Nurburgring. This is the first time we’ve been able to see a prototype being driven under full acceleration, following a recent spotting of the car on the road.

More importantly, we get a snippet of what the 2013 BMW M3 F80 sedan sounds like. Even though this is a prototype and the production car will likely be fitted with a revised exhaust system, the key element we hear is that it is not a V8 like the current model.

The next judgment to be made from the video is whether the engine is a V6 or a straight six. Also, whether it is a turbocharged engine. Judging by the sounds, it’s very difficult to tell. According to a recent BIMMERPOST article, BMW M CEO Dr Nitschke said that BMW M would not do a V6 layout.

Whether he said this as a simple deterrent or not is still questionable. Some other options include a triple turbo layout (incorporating a potential third electric turbo – patent found), possibly developed onto the 3.0-litre straight-six engine also seen in the BMW 1 Series M Coupe. What it ends up being, power is expected to be in the 340kW range (450hp).

In the video, you do notice there’s a distinct crack and pop sound in between gearshifts, which means the new 2013 BMW M3 F80 will come with a sophisticated semi-automatic dual-clutch transmission. The pops could also be resonated sounds of a wastegate as the power is cut momentarily during the gearshift?

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Another detail revealed in this latest prototype testing video is the semi-revealed bodywork. The new BMW M3, like most previous BMW M3 vehicles, will feature pumped wheel arches front and back accommodating a large tyre and wheel package.

The 2013 BMW M3 F80 is likely to debut in sedan form first, with a concept said to be on its way to the 2012 Geneva Motor Show in March. A coupe will then follow, possibly adopting a BMW M4 nameplate.

Click play below to have a listen. What do you think the engine is?

Brett is the editor and founder of PerformanceDrive. He's obsessed with driving, having played with Matchbox cars until he was tall enough to drive a real one. After initially working as a mechanic, Brett earned a degree in journalism and entered media as an editorial assistant at Top Gear Australia magazine. He then worked at CarAdvice. His dream is to live next door to the Nurburgring in Germany.