With stiff competition from Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar, BMW’s current 3-Series has done fairly well for the Munich-based manufacturer. However, their bread and butter model is getting rather long in the tooth and time for a replacement is nigh.
So how will BMW keep buyers flocking to its best-seller? Well let’s take an illustrative preview of the all-new G20 3-Series.
Dynamic, Yet Familiar Exterior Styling
At first glance the look isn’t a radical departure. Its overall styling is similar to that of the larger 5-Series, with the details making the difference.
Starting at the front, BMW’s twin-kidney grille has more depth, with a rearward ledge that follows the same rake of the hood. Headlights are defined by small indentions along the lower edge and intersect the grille – yes, you guessed it, like the 5-Series.
Gazing upon the side reveals a deeply-sculptured channel along the lower doors, subtly curving upwards towards the rear. Front fenders carry a diagonal crease like that found on the Z4 roadster, whilst the Hofmeister kink has an angled cut with chrome trim on the c-pillar.
There’s a double-crease near the taillights, whilst the rear bumper is defined by dual exhausts and vertical bumper cut-outs.
The new 3-Series will ride upon the BMW brand’s flexible CLAR platform, which underpins other models like the X3, 5-Series and 7-Series. This means the 3-Series will be offered with traditional rear wheeled propulsion or an xDrive all-wheel-drive system.
Expect to see a modest reduction in weight along with better interior packaging for increased occupant space and comfort. Cabin styling has largely been kept under wraps to date, however prototype mules have shown a new digital gauge cluster and shifter styling.
Ultimate Driving Power
Like the current car, the G20 3-Series will offer a range of gasoline and diesel engines. These include a TwinPower 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder, with upwards of 250 hp. Those looking for more horses will have the option of a 3.0-litre, turbocharged six pumping out close to 360hp in the 340i M Performance gasoline model and an all-wheel-drive diesel variant producing around 315 horses.
Conjecture has it that we’ll also see xDrive hybrid versions in two states of tune, ranging from 230hp to 265hp.
Topping the range will be an M3 version, which for the first time, will be available with all-wheel drive. It will continue to be powered by a turbocharged-six, but could gain BMW’s water-injection system that was first introduced on the BMW M4 GTS, producing close to 500 horsepower.
Arguably one of the toughest segments to compete in, the new 3-Series will battle against some luxury heavy-hitters like the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Audi A4. Lower down the pecking order, you can include Jaguar’s XE, Lexus IS, Infiniti Q50, Genesis G70 and possibly even the Kia Stinger amongst those also vying for 3-Series customers.
As for an official launch, we expect to see BMW reveal it later this year, possibly at the Paris Motor Show in October.
Has BMW played it too safe with the all-new 3 Series? Tell us in the comments below.