In 2018, BMW will unveil the G20 3 Series generation. To remain competitive in the premium segment, BMW aims to offer an edgy and premium design to successfully compete with Mercedes-Benz and Audi.
According to Car Magazine, the new G20 3 Series’ design has sharper creases, harder edges, more adventurous radii and even tighter cutlines. Built on the highly flexible new architecture known as CLAR – short for cluster architecture – the new 3er will also deliver improved driving dynamics and sportiness.
The sources also say the G20 is more about “substance, character, craftsmanship, visual and haptic quality.” To close the gap to the competition, BMW is said to invest in better materials, enhanced specification and higher-quality details such as carpets, rubber seals and sill covers. Inside the cabin, BMW is likely to put TV quality instrument graphics, a more comprehensive head-up display, and a large color monitor in the center stack which blends touchscreen access, gesture control and voice activation with the good old iDrive knob.
Furthermore, the 2018 3 Series aims to offer more variety and better value for the money, which translates into optional sport brakes, power kits for the M Pack, bespoke assistance systems and a top of the line infotainment system in some lines.
Efficiency is at the core of the G20 models and the new 3 Series is all set to undercut the 100g/km CO2 emission mark by introducing the miserly three-cylinder engine to the near-premium segment. The entry-level 316i will feature a 1.5 liter three-cylinder unit producing 136 hp, while its diesel counterpart, the 316d, produces 122 horsepower. The bread and butter of the new 3 Series will be the 2.0 liter four-cylinder engines which will account for most sales. The six-cylinder units are bound to get significant power upgrades as well, the 340i is rumored to make 365 hp. The 328i’s power also jumps to 260 horsepower.
The M3 and M4 will stay loyal to the straight six engines but now with e-chargers and water injection for 500 hp.
Hybrid drivetrains are also part of BMW’s future strategy so expect to see two hybrids: a 1.5-liter version with a 60kW e-motor good for a 30-mile range, and a 2.0-liter model with a 90kW e-motor permitting a 50-mile range.
Assistance systems will also trickle down from the 7 Series to the new 5 Series and then the 3er. The G20 is rumored to be able to park itself, stay in lane or change lanes, overtake self-actingly under certain conditions, brake when required, monitor turns and crossroads, drive semi-autonomously on the autobahn and in stop-and-go traffic at up to 40 mph.
The ride quality will be improved with adjustable dampers, switchable anti-roll bars, second-generation active steering and a new torque vectoring system which piggybacks ABS and DSC. The sportiness of the new 3er will also come from a longer wheelbase, wider track and lower center of gravity, along with a lighter kerb weight.
Also on the cards are stronger brakes, reduced-friction wheel bearings, adaptive elastokinematics including track and camber modulation, xDrive AWD with faster torque distribution and aluminum-carbonfiber compound wheels.
The biggest rumor is probably the BMW M350i, an M Performance Automobile said to produce around 420 horsepower.
Deliveries of the new 3 Series are likely to start in early 2019.