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2021 BMW M3 spied with manual gearstick

The cabin of the BMW M3 has been snapped, and we've gleaned more information about its exterior to boot.
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The 2021 BMW M3 has been snapped in greater detail during testing, revealing its interior and more about its aggressive exterior makeover.

Like the last car we spotted, this M3 isn't wearing any fake body panels. That means we can see it wears headlights similar to what we're expecting from the 4 Series, instead of the notched units that feature on the non-M 3 Series.

Although it's still unconfirmed, there's a chance the new M3 will wear a tall, narrow kidney grille like that of the Concept 4. These images do nothing to disprove that suggestion, but we'll have to wait for the car's full reveal to 100 per cent confirm our suspicions.

Down back, there's a low profile lip spoiler on the bootlid and a set of tightly-packed exhaust pipes, as is the M tradition.

Inside one of the car spied, there's a set of slim bucket seats – another has more comfortable pews and, crucially, a manual shifter.

BMW has previously confirmed it will offer the choice of a three-pedal transmission or a torque-converter automatic, but this is the first evidence we've seen of the hotly-anticipated manual.

Unlike the M3, the Mercedes-AMG C63 and Audi RS4 aren't available with a manual. The Alfa Romeo Giulia QV is also auto-only in Australia, although a manual is offered in Europe.

Markus Flasch, head of M GmbH, earlier this year confirmed the M3 and M4 won't go on sale until 2021.

Details about the powertrain have yet to be revealed, but Flasch promised they "will have the most powerful engine in the segment".

Power is believed to come from the 'S58' 3.0-litre turbocharged six-cylinder family used in the X3 M and X4 M, both of which top out with 375kW of power and 600Nm of torque.

By way of comparison the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio has 375kW/600Nm from its 2.9-litre V6, while the Mercedes-AMG C63 S boasts 375kW/700Nm from its 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8.