BMW continues working on the next 3-Series, codenamed G20, with our spies filming early prototypes during cold-weather testing.
The new generation G20 of the 3-Series is based on BMW’s CLAR modular platform, which basically will become the go-to point for all future rear-drive BMWs as witnessed by the latest 7- and 5-Series.
This should allow the new 3-Series to lose some weight as well as making it more suitable for the latest generation of electrified powertrains.
The exterior design will certainly carry a lot of details from its bigger brothers but we learn that BMW is keen on giving the 3-Series a more dynamic visual character, which should mean at least a more distinctive face from the rest of the company’s four-door sedan range.
Interior quality is also expected to be significantly better, especially now that Mercedes seems to have really widened the gap with the C-Class, while several tech features from the upper segments are also going to find their way into the 2018 3-Series.
The European range will kick off with the three-cylinder 1.5-litre petrol and diesel units, targeting a sub-100g CO2 emissions score, with the rest of the range receiving a modest update for more power and better fuel efficiency. The North American lineup will start with the inline-four turbos.
There have been reports that the next M3/M4 will keep a straight six under the bonnet, only now the BMW M division will use the trick water injection and maybe even an electric supercharger to push the output over the 500hp mark.
As for the aforementioned electrified versions, expect to see at least two plug-in hybrids; the first one will combine the 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol with an electric motor while there’s also going to be a more powerful model with the 2.0-litre petrol and a more gutsy electric motor, following the same recipe with the current 330e model.
BMW is expected to reveal the G20 3-Series sometime in 2018, with plenty of variants to follow, including a sleeker 4-Series in two- and four-door bodystyles.