Photo Comparison: E92 Coupe facelift vs. pre-facelift

3-Series, Featured Posts | January 17th, 2010 by 29

With every new model launched or redesigned, comes another photos comparison. The topic of the week revolves around the 2011 BMW 3 Series Coupe and …

With every new model launched or redesigned, comes another photos comparison. The topic of the week revolves around the 2011 BMW 3 Series Coupe and Convertible LCI that was unveiled yesterday and which will go on sales this Spring.

Judging by the photos and information released, the general consensus is that BMW is looking to align some of its models to the current design language, and features like “angel eyes” are starting to become standard across the line-up. LED taillights are also becoming the norm at BMW and the new 3 Series LCI comes to emphasize that.

Together with our Senior Editor Andrew, we outlined some of the changes below, both visually and in writing.

Photo Comparison: E92 Coupe facelift vs. pre facelift


Regarding the exterior of the car – BMW, like they did with the pre-LCI E92, have managed to make the E92 continue to look much more expensive than it actually is. The facelifted E92 continues to give a strong balance between prestige and performance purely in appearance alone.

Photo Comparison: E92 Coupe facelift vs. pre facelift

Additionally, at front and rear, while the revisions appear minimal, the proof is in the details. At the business end of the 3 Series Coupe, the head lamps have grown slightly with added contours to the bottom line of the head lamp assembly. A thin “eyebrow” can now be found running along the top of each assembly which is lit by LEDs – a design cue taken straight from the E90 LCI, F01 7 Series and F10 5 Series.

Dropping just below the head lamps, the lower bumper is the most heavily modified part of the E92 LCI, losing the struts that flowed with the cut lines of the nose of the car. In its place, BMW have added a slim cut straight across the center of the lower grill, only being broken up by the area just below the larger, wider double kidney grill. Overall, the appearance of the E92 LCI now looks more succinct with the rest of the now more modern BMW line-up.

Photo Comparison: E92 Coupe facelift vs. pre facelift

Moving to the rear of the car, the lower portion of the bumper receives a larger, purposeful crease along the valence just above the exhaust. The L-shaped tail lamps also receive a mild facelift with a more opaque cover to the LEDs when compared to the pre-LCI E92.

Additionally, the pattern of the rear lamp LEDs has two stacked sets of LEDs to provide better visibility at night while also providing a distinctly BMW look. By comparison, the LCI E92 now looks much brighter and contoured over its predecessor.

Photo Comparison: E92 Coupe facelift vs. pre facelift

The side design goes through some changes as well, the E92 LCI features longer overhangs and subtle changes to the side skirts, giving the facelift an overall more aggressive, masculine look.

As we mentioned yesterday, the LCI design effort was led by the talented Juliane Blasi, the exterior designer that revamped the Z4 Roadster.

  • E92-Toronto

    Everything is good on E92 LCI, except the elephant ear side mirrios.

  • Elgee

    the front and rear lights are improved, changes are soft and subtile. however i prefer the previous side mirrors!

  • bmwm6

    where are the ridges in the hood

    look at this article and go to the 3er

    you will see the ridges in the hood why did they take them out

    • Jordan

      i believe those ridges were only put in on the facelift E90. no other E9x 3 series had them.

      • bmwm6

        oh that makes sense I really liked those ridges

        • okeribok

          get yourself a klingon ;-)

  • Jordan

    i really like what they did on the rear with the molding and lights, i like the new lower side moldings, i love the lower front redesign…. but those headlights im iffy about. they were perfectly sculpted before and now they look a little too large in their vertical length. i like the new stuff that they put into the lights but not sure about the new shape.

    the side profile looks great/better mostly because of the lower front redesign. the ONLY thing i don’t like is the shape of the headlights…. and im sure it’ll eventually grow on me haha and i’ll bet it looks better in real life like all BMW photos tend to be. and about the mirrors, i don’t mind. when someone tells you they changed something and you focus on it so much and then they seem HUGE! im sure the added visibility with the mirrors will help and the extra size is tastefully added with the design of the mirrors. overall good job BMW!

  • bunker

    These will NOT be my new wallpaper. Not feeling the changes at all. They soused up the front end something terrible, IMO. The rear is not as clean either, as they added an additional horizontal line where one was not necessary. The dumbo ears, which look fine on the E90, do not fit with the E92. The only positive here is on the interior, with the new (and proper) shift paddles. I suppose the exterior colors are nice too, but wow…I really, REALLY prefer my ’08 E92; which I think has just gone up in value with the release of these photos.

  • John Hietter

    I like the 3 series sedan update much better. This coupe update is definitely a let-down.

  • wazon8

    I like previous headlights more.

    • wazon8

      Actually, I have to say that all e92 before lift looked better.

  • michael

    I love the new taillights.

    Although I have to say I got a bit of a giggle about a female designer making the car appear more masculine :)

    • XC

      Sometimes girls now better what is masculine and what is not… lol After all they are the best to judge that. On the other hand we know better what cars are definitely girly.

  • Jordan

    on a close up like this… i think the facelift definitely looks better

  • :p

    Are they leaving the E90 alone?

    • Jordan

      it already had it’s facelift in 2009… check out BMW’s website

  • Tom

    im really undecided. theyre both stunning cars
    i kind of wish they added the hood ridges.. i was waiting to see that.
    the headlights..i honestly could have done without.
    i dont like the new bumper at all.
    and the taillights are yes, hot as hell, but i liked the white strip at the bottom on the prefacelifts. it breaks up all the red i think.

    hopefully prices for the prefacelift start to come down :)

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  • B. Astard

    Love everything, except the hideous eyebrow

  • io

    this new face-lift is’t so gay !

    i like the old version, it’s more sharp and sporty :)

  • Jordan

    this pic really shows how nice the facelift is

    that aggressive bumper is nice

  • io

    probabli the m kit will resolve the problem with the front bumper :)

  • XC

    I never have had problems with the size of the mirrors in the current model. Does anyone now if this change corresponds to a new regulation or something? Because they really look like Pick-up’s mirrors.

  • E90M3

    Barely noticeable changes unless you`re a bmw aficionado or you use this side by side comparison photos.
    Not a big deal.

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  • Andrew Burns

    Those mirrors are not big at all. The previous versions were dangerously small if you use your mirrors correctly (which most people don’t.) Not sure about the front end. I kind of like the headlights but I’m not in love with the long horizontal piece they added. Seems to serve no purpose other than being an area to get damaged and/or clean bugs of of. I’d like to see what the headlights look like lit up.

  • John

    i preffer E92 non lci