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BMW chooses the design for the next generation 3 Series

Rumors | March 3rd, 2009 by 5
Artist Rendering

As we announced a few weeks back, in March, BMW was going to decide on the design for the next generation 3 Series, due to …

As we announced a few weeks back, in March, BMW was going to decide on the design for the next generation 3 Series, due to launch in 2012.  Several design teams are taking part in a internal competition and after several rounds of cuts, one team gets to move forward with the design language.

The 3 Series is BMW’s most valuable model and it is very important for them to “get the design right” from the start. There is no room for error here since the 3 Series vehicles accounts for the largest percentage of BMWs sold ever year globally.

BMW chooses the design for the next generation 3 Series

Artist Rendering - Not the real photo

Unfortunately, our sources were a bit busy with the last details prior to the Geneva Motor Show, but Scott from Germancarzone gives us some insight.

“The chosen car is very avantgarde , a reminiscent of a 3 Series, but the details are very much in your face. The front grille reminds of the GINA Light Vision Concept, positioned in the middle of the car enclosed in a V-shape, which forms the sculpture to the bonnet and A-Pillar.

Next generation BMW’s will have the full LED lights. The air intakes are slightly bigger than the current 3 Series, and it will fit in the 5 Series, 5er GT and 7 Series family. The rear has smaller lighting units that wrap around similar to the CS Concept car, but have a more triangular shape at the edges of the rear wing.

The rear-end will remind us of a smaller CS Concept, with shortened bonnet , smoother trunk lid and a well proportioned roofline.

The interior concept is similar to the Z4, but the iDrive screen is more like the traditional BMW sedan.

The new 3 Series can be described as half  evolutionary and half revolutionary, and of course, it is expected to cause some controversy.”

As soon as things settle down after the Geneva Motor Show, we will be back with more inside information, but in the mean time, stay tuned.

  • Giom

    To be quite honest, the same things were said about the current 3er before it was released. “Must be a safe design… can’t get it wrong…etc. I’m still not convinced that the car we finally saw, got it right. It was too safe. Elements like the rear light cluster shape and treatment were down right un-interesting. In my country at least, the C class took over the top sales figures from the 3 series for the first time ever.

    I still believe that an attractive design is the biggest sales insentive to the buyer out there. Look at the new Ford Fiesta -damn man, I want one! It is so gorgious! I’ve been thinking many times, that if the new 3 would look that good, that fresh and that grown-up… the others would have to go to bed.

    I’m seriously hoping it will be an attractive car, wooing the allianated customers back and adding a bunch from M&A. As some of you may know, I’ve tried my hand at designing cars and believe me when I say this: IT IS NOT EASY!!! Hopefully the internal design competition will create some new ideas and ground breaking designs.

  • Tee

    Cannot see BMW improving the look of the 3 series coupe – a modern design classic. Somehow the new generation BMWs are looking more and more like Volvos with the squarer front end.

    With such strong competion now it will be a very interesting reveal. If BMW do not get this right Merceds and especially Audi will really feel they can really close the gap on this market.

  • Lance

    @Giom: Completely agree with you. But the night effect of the rear light cluster with the light tubes look unique and amazing, obviously something that the new Audi A3 copied (again). But I must admit that the new C Class looks better than the 3 on the exterior and that’s a huge factor in purchase decision. However, the interior of the C is unacceptable with that ugly dash, not even close to BMw’s elegant and stylish design.

    As for the monitor/screen, I actually prefer a fixed one, a pop up screen looks cheap to me.

  • okeribok

    @Tee: So I’m not the only one seeing the Volvo thing. Hideous!

    When I look at this artist impression, I think I’m looking at an 1800kg (3600lbs) car. That’s too much. I like my current e46 compact with its 1350kg.
    Heavy cars are less enjoyable to drive and driving enjoyment is BMWs main selling point.
    I sure hope that BMW is not going the VW route, by upgrading a model range so far, that new models have to be introduced, like the lupo, polo and fox, since the VW golf has grown into a family car. What would BMW do? add negative series below the 1 series?
    I sure hope that BMW will have a more daring design than this for the 3. The new 7 is already being called “boring”.
    The new z4 looks good. More of that please!

  • patricksixer

    Some interesting ideas here, in terms of the words used to describe the look. Some of it makes me worry and some sounds nice. But I think they should get it right for the sedan. The coupe, it’s tough to improve on what already is there, but the E46 coupe was great and look what they did with that. I think for that one, simplicity and conservatism (and evolutionary rather than revolutionary) should be what they have in mind but who knows.

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