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Behold the BMW M3 DTM Concept Car. This is the first glimpse you’ll get of the only-just-sub-500bhp racer that’ll be competing in the 2012 DTM (German Touring Car) series. And looks a bit scary.

A perfunctory glance over its bulbous wheel arches, gossamer-thin ground clearance and swoopy carbon stuff should tell you that it’s not really anything like your garden-variety E92 M3. But it does share a small number of its components - DTM regs insist on it.

Click here for more pics of the M3 DTM concept

That ridiculous body isn’t one of them. It’s a carbonfibre-reinforced plastic monocoque with an all-steel roll cage. The aero accoutrements make it 160mm longer than the road car and those bloated haunches boost girth from 1804mm to 1950mm. Depending on setup, it sits just 1200mm tall - 224mm shorter than the street car.

Underneath, there’s a six-speed sequential ‘box bolted to a normally aspirated 4.0-litre 480bhp V8, which gets it to 62mph in around three seconds and a top speed of 186mph.

But don’t get too excited. This is a mere concept designed to offer, as BMW puts it, ‘an initial impression’ of what the M3 DTM’s going to look like.

BMW also revealed some actual, this-is-going-to-happen stuff. Namely that there’ll be three M3s racing in next year’s DTM series: BMW Team Schnitzer, BMW Team RBM and BMW Team RMG. The first two that have been announced are ex-WTCC champion Andy Priaulx and Brazilian BMW GT veteran, Augusto Farfus.

Is anybody else looking forward to seeing this on track?

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