In 2018, BMW will unveil – what is arguably their most important car – the new 3 Series. The seventh generation 3 Series is built under the code G20 and will officially be available for sale in early 2019. BMW’s testing drivers and engineers are currently in Northern Europe putting the G20 3er through challenging winter conditions. A prototype – still with heavy camouflage – was spotted this week playing in the snow.
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Judging by these images, the headlights seem to 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, similar to the new G30 5 Series. 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.
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.
According to one of our sources in Munich, the range will go from the base 318i to the top M340i model that will be replacing the current 340i version, thus offering an M Performance Automobile under the 3 Series umbrella for the first time in its history. As a lot of people expected, the M340i will become a proper rival for the Audi S4 and the Mercedes-Benz C43 AMG, models that have been set up from the beginning to stand out from their ‘lesser’ brothers.