2012 F30 BMW 3 Series Body Profile/Proportion Illustrated

Rumors | December 24th, 2009 by 26
F30 Profile Trace 750x500

The next generation BMW 3 Series is due out in 2012, but the highest-seller model in the BMW line-up, is already creating buzz in the …

The next generation BMW 3 Series is due out in 2012, but the highest-seller model in the BMW line-up, is already creating buzz in the BMW community.

The new F30 3 Series is rumored to be slightly growing in size, both in length and width. Based on the latest spy photos, Mii, a member of GermanCarZone and E90post, has put together a comparison of the last two generation 3 Series, E46 and E90, and the upcoming new platform F30.

Let’s have a look at the following illustrations and at the details outlined by Mii.

“There were mixed opinions on latest F30 spy shot in terms of size, style and proportion due to cladding and camouflage tapes. As curious as any BMW enthusiast, I traced through the spy shot and wanted to analyze the next 3er’s profile and proportion compare to E46 and E90. To my surprise, F30 profile and proportion looked quite sleek and balanced from the initial phase of spy shot. Based on the recently announced F10 5-Series, we may infer some of the design language that might be incorporated in the upcoming F30.

F30 Profile Trace 655x483

Some observations based on the trace:

1. Shorter overhangs (Shorter than previous generation 3er)
2. Longer wheelbase (Estimate 1.5”+ longer than previous generation 3er)
3. Hofmeister Kink followed by near straight rear door cutline which nicely curved around rear wheel well
4. Forward pushing nose similar to E89 Z4 front end
5. Similar hood profile as E89 Z4
6. Minimal downward slope on rear quarter panel following the C-pillar

With longer wheelbase, F30 looks longer than previous generation 3er. It also provides more legroom both front and rear judging from the door cutline. Although there are still missing details such as body panel creases, headlight and taillight shape from this phase of spy shot, the overall profile and proportion looked rather impressive. I’d expect F30 profile and proportion to surpass our expection.

Side profile trace from the spy shot and comparison between F30, E90 and E46:

E46 E90 F30 Profile

[Source: E90post and GCZ ]

26 responses to “2012 F30 BMW 3 Series Body Profile/Proportion Illustrated”

  1. Shane says:

    I’m glad it looks a little better, for the e90 looks like a bad rendering!

  2. L1ndja says:

    I really dont know why but im starting to miss Chris Bangle..No offense to Adrian hes a great designer but in a few years time CB would again make a revolutinationazed car like the E60 and that must be done in order to look different.I hope that Adrian can repeat what bangle has done and in the -Contraversial- aspect i think he can and that is a thing i like..

  3. JoeDoe says:

    Van Hooydonk can do controversial too: the current 6-series is designed by him.

    The photo is badly traced at the hood of the F30: the photo is taken from a higher viewpoint so part of the top of the hood shows up making the trace look unnatural there.

  4. duckofprey says:

    @ L1ndja,

    if you’re saying recent BMWs don’t have as much character, I definitely agree. I get the feeling that BMW’s decisions are being made more by the bean counters than people with passion about the marque. When I look at the new 5 series, I can see that it’s very sleek and pretty, but it lacks the attitude I’d expect from a BMW… Shame….

  5. Brookside says:

    BMW has such a strong design template to work with- looks like they’re going to refine those styling cues and proportions in the new 3-er.
    Personally, I miss the chance-taking aspect of Bangle’s leadership, but, as I’ve said, these are different more conservative times and the F30 reflects that trend.
    I think that once green technology starts playing a major role in automobile production we’ll start to see polarizing design that’s directly attributable to the new technology.

  6. XC says:

    Hopefully the F30 gets the E89 Z4 front end. That is a fantastic front; it would be the best looking car of its class.

  7. badger says:

    please please add decent cup holders.

  8. Jav says:

    Please don’t make the new 3 look like the 5 and the 7 as though it’s an Audi. Their A4,5,6 all have the similar face… (-_-)

  9. James May says:

    duckoprey you have said it all. the current 5 series still looks fresh today but i think it was either love it or hate it. I my love the design but when all you hear from narrow minded people that its ugly it gets on your nerves. It was radical, different forward looking a design classic. So you would think the new one would be WOW but its nothing special.. The new one will sale more because its not polarizing. The new 3 series will be an eveolution of the e90 which will end up looking like the new 5 series. with the old 7 current 5 and 3 you would never mistake one for another. Unlike audi i hope they find a balance between brand identitty and model uniqueness

  10. viper says:

    I think bmw is going backwards with this design , the F30 looks like its from 90’s , the E46 looks like something from a recent past and the E90 should be a new 3er. an obvious step back in every way was for the new 7er then new 5er then new 3er , all three have that same dull look , bmw entering 2010…..with no elegance and style at all

    • Resin8 says:


    • Doug says:

      Actually I kind of agree with this, sort of. They are using the E90 design elements and bringing them down to the level of refinement that the E46 had. So, in a way, it does kind of fit between the E46 and E90. But– that doesn’t make it a step backwards necessarily.

  11. Babken says:

    I don’t think it has anything common with reality.

  12. txdesign says:

    Yet another increase in size? One of the reasons I drive a 1-series is because the current 3-series is too big to be fun any more. Sigh.

    • XC says:

      Not to worry, lol. 1 series will increase in size unitl it reaches the current 3 series size, and then a new series below 1 series will be needed, ans os on…

  13. viper says:

    bmw hire a real designer please

  14. billy says:

    Are you sure this is the new design and not just a test mule? it looks awfully similar to the previous generation, just with perspective distortion

  15. Doug says:

    Wow, I wish I’d seen this earlier. Great post.

    If to scale, it really looks like the F30 is the same overall length of the E90, but with a clearly longer wheelbase. Maybe that explains the shortened overhangs, or maybe it indicates their engine intentions, as in the 1 series (seemingly designed for 4-cylinder + no awd). On the note, the hood is even higher — does this mean we should expect an even taller engine, or one mounted transverse?

    Nice job tracing through the camouflage. I have some pictures of supermodels you can get to work on:)

  16. vixin says:

    can you guys pleae do the 1er and 6er please

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