BMW prototypes are out in full force in Munich preparing for their market launch. Over the last two days we’ve seen several test mules roaming around the Bavarian streets, including today the seventh generation of BMW’s most popular car – the 3 Series.

The test mules spotted in Munich seem to be testing different powertrains. One of the prototypes sports an electric hookup flap on the side which indicates a plug-in hybrid model, while in the back it features four tailpipes. The front-end also resembles one seen on a Luxury line model, rather than the more aggressive front fascia seen on the other prototype.

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.

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.

Often the 3 Series’ interior has been deemed as dated, so we expect the new 3 Series to deliver a more premium cabin than the current generation while retaining its sporty DNA.

According to our sources inside Munich, the new 3 Series will be lighter than its predecessor by a considerable margin. Using lightweight materials throughout its chassis and body, the new sedan will be looking to reclaim its number one spot in the segment as it has over the last 40 years.

Built under the code G20, the new 3 Series will officially be available for sale in early 2019.

[Photos: Matski]