2008 BMW M3 Coupe Spy Shot in the desert
2008 BMW M3 Coupe Spy Shot in the desert

Spotted crisscrossing Death Valley, California, in 120-degree heat, the BMW E92 M3 sportscoupe prototypes in our exclusive spy video have ditched their heavy camouflage in favor of a few well-placed pieces of tape. Up front, you can now clearly see the more aggressive air dam and power dome hood. We're pretty sure the M3's trademark quarter-panel vents are hiding under the taped-on covers, too. Bulging fender flares are another M3 specialty, along with the set of quad pipes out back.

Although current M3s use a similar exhaust setup, it's partly for show given the six-cylinder engine. That won't be the case for the next-generation M3, as it's expected to use a small-displacement V8 for the first time. And given the RS4's healthy 420-horsepower V8, you can bet the M3 will have at least 400 horses of its own, if not more, to stay competitive. We have yet to confirm whether BMW's SMG transmission will be the sole gearbox, but after the customer demand for a true manual in the M5 sedan we wouldn't be surprised to see the M3 give you the choice right out of the gate.

All the speculation will be over in a couple of months as the 2008 M3 will make its official debut at the Paris auto show in late September.

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