BMW’s upcoming 3-Series model will apparently not only feature a front end that’s very reminiscent of the 5-Series, but also a brand new rear end design and a high-tech interior.
This latest batch of spy images show a prototype wearing a thinner layer of camouflage, which in turn means that we can gauge the car’s proportions and styling details with more ease. It’s more evident than ever that the all-new 2019 G20 BMW 3-Series will look considerably more aggressive than its predecessor.
We already mentioned the similarities to the 5-Series, but now, we can almost tell just how much alike the two models are, at lest as far as the front end design is concerned.
The taillight design is also easier to interpret than before. The bottom part of the cluster sticks out even more than we thought, somewhat similar to what we’ve seen on the 8-Series Concept, albeit, not as extreme – this is after all 2018, not 2028.
Slippery when dry
The 2019 BMW 3-Series was sculpted by the automaker’s former design boss Karim Habib, who later moved to Infiniti. The car also represents the first-ever 3-Series model to be fully honed in the automaker’s Munich-based wind tunnel, matching the aerodynamic efficiency of the new 5-Series, as reported by Autocar.
The new 3-Series is also rumored to have a very low drag coefficient, rated at just 0.22 cd. By comparison, the Audi A4 only managed a 0.26 cd, while the Alfa Romeo Giulia’s is 0.25 cd.
According to unknown insiders, the new 3-Series will measure 4,703 mm (185.1 in) in length, with a 2,830 mm (111.4 in) wheelbase – making it 7 mm (0.27 in) longer than a 2018 Mercedes-Benz C-Class, but with a shorter wheelbase (by 10 mm / 0.39 in ).
Our best look yet at the interior
The all-new BMW 3-Series might take after its larger sibling when it comes to exterior styling, however inside, thanks to this latest batch of spy images, we can tell you that the dashboard and center console design is a little bit different.
There’s a new digital gauge display, which we already knew about, plus a new shifter design, considerably smaller than what we’re used to seeing in other BMW models. It’s actually the same knob found inside the new 8-Series Coupe and the new X7, both of which feature the exact same center console design as the G20 3-Series, a design first seen on the 8-Series Concept.
To summarize, the swivel wheel controls the infotainment system, then we see buttons for the start/stop engine function, parking sensors, video camera, three driving modes (Sport, Comfort, Eco Pro) and more.
Move north of the center console and you’ll find the stereo, while above that there’s the climate control system, followed by a pair of air vents. On the 5-Series, the stereo is the one between the vents and the climate control.
The infotainment system will be more intuitive
BMW’s Operating System 7.0 is coming to the all-new 3-Series, boasting a new layout with more intuitive commands. Users will also benefit from more customization options as well as intuitive modes of operations, such as its ability to switch to a parking map as you’re approaching your destination.
The user will operate the system via either the iDrive swivel wheel, via touchscreen, voice or gesture control.
The 3-Series will look sportier than ever
Additional images captured by our spy photographers feature two different prototypes, one wearing M Sport duds, and another one in a more basic configuration. What’s great though is that both prototypes are wearing very thin camouflage, giving us our best ever look at this all-new Bavarian sports sedan.
Even though we long suspected that when it comes to styling, the G20 3-Series will take after its larger sibling, the 5-Series, we now know just how similar the two are when viewed from the front. The cut-out of the headlights is easy to spot, and while they’re not exactly identical to the 5-Series’ pair of eyes (a little smaller and straighter in the G20), the grille however does appear to be.
As for other noticeable features, there’s a design line that runs across the profile curving upwards, like on the current car, plus two other lines, one cutting across the middle of the doors, and another closer to the door sills.
On the current F30 3-Series, the upper-most design line doesn’t go any higher than the rear door handle, whereas on the all-new G20 model, it sweeps over both door handles, which in turn will presumably give the car a more aggressive stance.
Moving on to the rear, this is where things get really interesting, because we might be looking at a completely new rear end design for a BMW saloon. The overall shape of the taillights sort of reminds us of the Audi A4’s, however the bottom part of the cluster also sticks out a little, like on certain BMW concepts and definitely more than on the 7-Series.
A wide array of available power units
Entry-level 3-Series models should continue to utilize 3-cylinder engines, although probably not in North America where the current car is only being sold with four and six-cylinder units. The 3-cylinder engines in question (diesel and petrol) will likely be the BMW Group’s 1.5-liter ones, which we expect to find on 316i and 316d versions of the new 3-Series.
Mostly though, it’s going to be 2.0-liter and 3.0-liter units, with four, respectively six cylinders. Also, word has it at least two plug-in hybrid versions will join the range, using electrified 1.5-liter and 2.0-liter engines.
The tip of the spear for the upcoming 3-Series range will wear the M Division’s logo, in one way or another. To start with, there will be an M340i (both rear and all-wheel drive versions) with a 360 HP 3.0-liter turbo inline-six, and an M340d xDrive, with a 320 HP 3.0-liter straight-six diesel. Either one of these two could actually be the prototype we see in the image above.
As for the flagship model, that’s going to be the M3, which is expected to house a 500 HP straight-six unit with water injection.
The all-new 2019 BMW 3-Series is on track to make its official debut sometime later this year.
Article updated with new information and spy photos