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BMWBLOG Design Analysis: F30 3 Series – What We Know so Far

3-Series, Featured Posts | August 17th, 2011 by 18
2013-bmw-m3 AutoExpress Rendering

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so this article is over – just look at the spy photo below capturing the all …

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so this article is over – just look at the spy photo below capturing the all new 3 series. But in all seriousness, much can be gleaned from this pixilated aerial snapshot – and it’s worth taking a look.

The BMW design house has traditionally skipped generations to complete both evolutions, and revolutions of their cars. Alternating back and forth, the E46 was a safe (and handsome) evolutionary step from the E36, while the E90 broke the mold and found a revolutionary “flame” inspired new shape, as Bangle would later tell us.

That means – you guessed it: the F30 3 series is due for an evolutionary update based on traditional BMW stylistic principles. Heavy emphasis has been placed on the fundamentals of BMW exterior design: double kidney grills, double round headlights, longitudinal bonnet lines, and Hofmeister Kink not withstanding. We’ll also throw L-shaped tail lights in for good measure, though they are in fact a more recent design hallmark in the long and illustrious history of the brand.
BMWBLOG Design Analysis: F30 3 Series   What We Know so Far

Starting at the nose, we see a prominent grill standing vertical – though not shark-nosed (in other words: leaning forward from the highest point). Most interesting is the recessed headlight assembly which links up with the kidney grill, drawing a horizontal line from the “eyebrow” of the head light unit across the top edge of the kidney grill. The bottom edge of the headlight projector fluidly turns up and joins this character line, emphasizing the kidney grill’s prominence in the overall design. The visual connection between the headlights and the kidney grill could be a new design trend to be played out across future models.

Horizontal winglets in the lower front fascia are now seen mounted above the fog lights, whereas before they had been transecting the round fog lamps. This stylistic change will enhance the appearance of the F30, making the front end appear wider.

The head light units themselves share the “droopy eye” contours featured on the new F20 1 series, and seen last on the outgoing 6 series. We love this new design after seeing it on the F30 1 series in person, and we suspect its execution on the new 3 series will grant the car a muscular, almost ‘mean’ appearance. A good thing on a performance sedan.

BMWBLOG Design Analysis: F30 3 Series   What We Know so Far
Artist’s Rendering of new F30 3 Series

The hood has been settled down with more subtle longitudinal bonnet lines through the center, spread further apart in their divergence toward the windscreen. The roundel has been moved from the hood to the front grill mount.

A significant new design approach is seen along the sides of the hood and front 3/4 panel. Also seen on the new F20 1 series, a broad “bow wave” curves from the roundel sharply outwards toward the very edge of the hood at which point it ‘falls off’ and drops vertically toward the side of the car – this character line then follows the side of the 3/4 panel until it reaches and joins up with the A-pillar. This design approach exaggerates the height of the front of the car, adding some boldness and a muscly contour.

The side profile and proportion is not unlike the F10 5 series, and the high belt-line crease flowing above the rear wheel well to the rear lights also shares familiarity with the 5 series.
BMWBLOG Design Analysis: F30 3 Series   What We Know so Far
Artist’s Rendering of New M3

Light emitting diode (tell me you knew the meaning of LED!) L-shaped tail lights will be the focus of the rear end design, this time squatter in profile.

The new F30 3 series is a ‘safe’ design that clings to the tradition of the brand. We can’t wait to see high definition photos of BMW’s latest bread-and-butter maker and you’ll be the first to see said photos when they finally arrive in the near future.

Stay tuned to BMWBLOG for the latest breaking news, photos and eventual reviews of BMW’s new 3 series.

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EJ6URKRKDJRWM76IDT2DHX366A Jom Beam

    It’s nice and evolutionary…but I can’t buy one. I already own a 3er and buying another one just feels redundant to me.

    Can’t wait to see the M4 Grand Coupe!

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  • http://www.facebook.com/mark6612 Mark Chen

    Hey guys, regarding the endless conflict between Audi and BMW on BMW Blog, I always considered it could be a good idea to do something on it…Here is my action:
    I conducted an academic research on the use of “comparative ads” in premium car segment. I highly appreciate the value of your voice, please let me know your stand on the war between Audi and BMW!

    This is my questionnaire: https://www.isurvey.soton.ac.uk/3063
    Short! and easy!
    Contact me on Facebook: Mark Chen —if you want to express more!

  • http://www.facebook.com/mark6612 Mark Chen

    Hey guys, regarding the endless conflict between Audi and BMW on BMW Blog, I always considered it could be a good idea to do something on it…Here is my action:
    I conducted an academic research on the use of “comparative ads” in premium car segment. I highly appreciate the value of your voice, please let me know your stand on the war between Audi and BMW!

    This is my questionnaire: https://www.isurvey.soton.ac.uk/3063
    Short! and easy!
    Contact me on Facebook: Mark Chen —if you want to express more!

  • SmellMyPants

    Same looks different sausage length.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000404206443 Misha Nikolich

    Great article Shawn – thanks. If the F30 draws cues from the F10 it should be a handsome car. The proportions look just about right from these spy shots. As a current E90 owner – I will also welcome the return of the driver oriented cockpit. 

  • sanbel

    If the rear seating is as cramped as the present model, I won’t be interested. Needs at least 1.5 inches more legroom at the rear.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/La-Ma/1681833435 La Ma

      loose some weight or buy a 5 series. The 3 series was already too big imho. It should be a smaller size car not a large sedan. For that purpose the 5 and 7 is there.
      The best size 3 was the E46 which was comfortable for a family but still small enough to be an enthusiast weekend warrior. The E9x series is too big, too large and too heavy.

      Hopefully the size growing will stop soon. Many automakers finally broke the trend of “…the  new car will be bigger and heavier…” trend.
      If you need bigger car, buy a larger, fine, don’t expect the small car to be big.
      Same goes for the Mini.  The Mini Clubman is larger then my E39 5 series wagon !!!! What kind of a MINI is that ? a MAXI mini ? Looks like a grown-up sized kid car. Reminds me of the movie of the 90;s  – Honet I blew up the kid  – it does look like a blown up Mini.

  • shark
  • Babken

    Another fat-ass product by bmw. I’m more than sure that the upcoming Audi A4 will easily crush this garbage called 3 series just like the RS6 easily trumps any bmw.

    • http://twitter.com/williambarty William Barty

      Troll much?

    • Luke Panousopoulos

      Hey Babken – I have always been a VW/Audi Fan (same exact brand by the way) and though I liked my Audi A6 -sorry my VW Passat (same car by the way), I think I will enjoy SMOKING A4′s and GTI’s with the new 240 BHP BMW 2.0T engine that will be in the the BENCHMARK of SPORT SEDANS – the 3 Series!  Sorry, not interested in buying cars from GM’s global replacement  – VW AG anymore.   Don’t get me wrong – VW and Audi may still get me in their show room – the last time I stayed in their showroom, was because BMW only offered 6 Cylinder engines – I was looking for German and 4 cylinder, and reasonably priced – my crystal ball in 2006 showed me the 5.00 a gallon gas prices to come, so I went with the Passat – I simply could not justify that 15K over sticker for a VW with 4 little circles on the front and back of the car!

  • http://www.facebook.com/mark6612 Mark Chen

    It’s stupid and painful to suffer a failure on 3-series, so generally it’s a safe upgrade

    Regarding the endless conflict between Audi and BMW on BMW Blog, I always considered it could be a good idea to do something on it…Here is my action:
    I conducted an academic research on the use of “comparative ads” in premium car segment. I highly appreciate the value of your voice, please let me know your stand on the war between Audi and BMW!

    This is my questionnaire: https://www.isurvey.soton.ac.uk/3063
    Short! and easy!
    Contact me on Facebook: Mark Chen —if you want to express more!

  • Nnnn

    Quite a prominent HUD projector on the dash.   What else are they jamming into that display?

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  • Luke Panousopoulos

    Looks good, will come with a 240 HP turbo charged 4 cylinder?  COUNT ME IN !!  Finally 32 MPG, power, and great styiling – what else could really ask for in a German Made sport sedan?

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