The next-generation BMW 3 Series was spotted in Germany last week. The heavily camouflaged 3 Series prototype was seen in Munich during a testing trial on public roads. The new generation of the midsize sedan is still heavily camouflaged hiding most the design details from the prying eyes of by-passers or in this case, spy photographers. Judging by these spy shots, it’s evident that the G20 3 Series will have taken some design cues from the latest BMW 7 Series. This was to be expected and it’s a welcome change here.
The headlights have slimmed down quite a bit on this G20 compared to the current F30 generation. They seem to be much narrower and the kidney grilles seem to have grown a bit, with less bars inside of them. So it is definitely taking some front end design from its bigger brother. The front overhang is still very short and the Hofmeister Kink also remains. Aside from that, there really isn’t much to see, though.
The underpinnings of the G20 3 Series come from the CLAR platform. The modular architecture provides high flexibility, multi-material capability, improved stiffness and lower weight. CLAR can be used with four different drive concept – petrol / diesel, hybrid, electric BEV, fuel cell FCEV. To get this complexity under control, BMW developed – for vehicles with an alternative engine – a new centerpiece housed between the axles: the so-called flat memory module. If it sounds familiar is because a similar approach is also used by Audi, Mercedes and Porsche. Also planned are innovative, scalable lighting technology – in the top model with lasers and OLEDs – more stability control systems, Integral Active Steering, active anti-roll bars, progressive rear axle and a new generation of brakes for 3 and 4 Series.
BMW is also working on the modernization of its current engine kit. The start of production of the 3 Series – scheduled for summer of 2018 – will coincide with the launch of an electrically driven compressor (instant torque), more powerful 48V systems and an advanced regen system that can recirculate 20 kW and more.[Photos: Christian Wimmer]