BMW will make its return to Germany's revitalised Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters (DTM) racing championship next year, after exiting the series in 1994.
This week, the German carmaker has revealed an early look at its weapon for the 2012 season: the M3 Coupe Concept Racer.
Shown in a combination of raw carbon fibre and matte black paint, the M3 concept race car offers a few hints at what we'll see when the final product is unveiled at Frankfurt in September.
“The DTM comeback sees BMW return to its roots” BMW board member Dr. Klaus Draeger said.
“We will be facing our main competitors in the premium sector and we are looking forward to this challenge. We have enjoyed great success in the past, and I am convinced we will follow on in 2012 where we left off."
DTM boss Hans Werner Aufrecht described BMW's return as a milestone for the series' future, brought about through negotiations with the current DTM manufacturers, Audi and Mercedes-Benz.
"I am looking forward to again seeing the three premium brands of Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz competing against each other on the race track. Our fans have waited a long time for this," Aufrecht said.
Power for the coupe is provided by a 350kW 4.0 litre V8 engine, mated to a six-speed sequential transmission. Both have been built to DTM specifications for 2012, and the combination promises a 0-100km/h time of "about" three seconds.
In 2012, BMW's M3 will be piloted by British driver Andy Priaulx - who will be looking to emulate the 2010 success of compatriot (and now F1 rookie) Paul di Resta - and Brazilian Augusto Farfus.
Audi Releases DTM Challenger Artwork
Shown here with the pre-update A5 headlights, Audi promises that its "technically and visually upgraded A5 [...] provides the basis for the new DTM car."
Little else has been revealed at this stage, although Audi describes a high-strength carbon-fibre monocoque body and a steel tube cage.
As with BMW's M3 racer, the R17 is powered by a 350kW 4.0 litre V8 engine, with power sent to the rear wheels only through a six-speed sequential transmission.
Audi will reveal the A5-based R17 at September's Frankfurt Motor Show.