Hot on the heels of yesterday’s spy video with the BMW M4, we’re back at the Nürburgring where its more practical four-door cousin was just spotted. In fact, several prototypes have been caught on camera by Auto Addiction, with some more interesting than the others. The very first test vehicle featured in the video had slightly larger exhaust tips leading us to believe it was the range-topping Competition model.

According to a member of the Bimmer Post forums, we’re indeed looking at the M3 Competition with an M Sport exhaust and the resonated tips installed. While some might argue the soundtrack could’ve been a little bit better, it’s because this was a prototype for a Euro-spec car, therefore it had the petrol particulate filter to comply with the increasingly stricter emissions regulations. Some will surely be disappointed with the noise, but it’s better than not having an M3 at all…

Possible 2021 BMW M3 Competition screenshot from spy video
2021 BMW M3 Sedan with Competition exhaust
2020 BMW M3 Spy Photo
2021 BMW M3 Sedan with standard exhaust

Provided this is the Competition version, we’re looking at the higher specification of the S58 engine delivering 503 bhp and 442 pound-feet (600 Newton-metres) of torque in the Competition-spec X3 M and X4 M. While BMW has confirmed there will be a back-to-basics version with a six-speed manual and rear-wheel drive, the M3 Competition is expected to be sold only with an eight-speed automatic and xDrive.

The G80 as enthusiasts refer to the new M3 Saloon is expected to go official sometime this year, possibly in the fall when it will likely be joined by its M4 Coupe sibling. The two will be joined in 2021 by the M4 Convertible and there might even be an M4 Gran Coupe further down the line, although nothing is official yet.

Regardless of body style and the number of doors, these cars will share the XXL grille that has generated quite the controversy ever since the otherwise stunning Concept 4 was unveiled last year at the Frankfurt Motor Show. How could BMW possibly redeem itself in the eyes of hardcore fans? We have an idea – build the M3 Touring to finally go after the Audi RS4 Avant and the Mercedes-AMG C63 Estate.

Sure, the M340i and M340d can be had in estate flavour in some parts of the world, mainly in Europe, but there are people out there looking for a full-fat M version as the do-it-all M car.