The BMW 3 Series Facelift unveil is just months ahead. The refreshed midsize sedan and touring will go into production July 2022 and will continue until 2025 (sedan) and 2026 (touring). The 3 Series as we know it will be replaced by the NK generation (Neue Klasse) which is an electric-focused platform.
New iDrive 8
But until then, the popular 3 Series still has some tricks up its sleeve. And that will start inside the cabin. We can confirm today that the BMW 3 Series LCI will get an infotainment upgrade which will consist of two large LCD screens – similar to the i4 – and naturally, the iDrive 8.
A massive 14.9-inch, 200 ppi, ultra-high resolution widescreen features bright, colorful graphics that are easy to recognize, and the main screen is comprised of massive, vibrant tiles that are clearer and easier to understand than before. The screen itself is curved toward the driver, to evoke the canted dashboards from BMWs of old. Not only is it curved toward the driver for easier touchscreen ergonomics but it’s also merged with the 12.3-inch instrument panel, for a more harmonious look.
Behind the instrument panel, we will likely also find a new head-up display sitting flush with the dashboard, making it almost completely hidden from view. As seen on the i4, the graphics it displays on the windshield, just ahead of the driver, are vastly improved, much clearer, and more intuitive.
Plenty Of Powertrain Choices
Just like with the current model, the BMW 3 Series Facelift will rely on a combination of gasoline, diesel and plug-in hybrid powertrains. We don’t expect any major changes this year in the engine department. The entry-level model will continue to be the 318i (non-US model) and the top variants will be the M340i and M340d (non-US model).
The path to full electrification goes through plug-in hybrids and BMW will continue to offer the 320e and 330e models. The former is using a 2.0 liter four-cylinder paired to an electric motor, while the latter makes use of the 3.0 six-cylinder unit also with an electric unit. Only the BMW 330e is scheduled for the U.S. market.
Mild Design Upgrades
The 3 Series will be getting the brand’s usual mid-cycle LCI refresh treatment, which will bring some updates to that same face. But those updates will be minimal. One of the more unique design elements of this G20 3er is its headlight design. With notches in the bottom, its headlights are reminiscent of the E46‘s. Additionally, the kidney grilles don’t seem changed much, so they will retain the non-aggressive design. When the BMW 3 Series gets its LCI treatment, it should make an already good looking car just a little bit better.
No Fully Electric 3 Series Unless…
Unless you live in China. An early leak from Asia gave us some insight into BMW’s plans for the market. The electric BMW 3 Series sedan has been rumored for years, but this is the first time we got to see its final design. If the naming convention is a bit odd – considering that BMW still manufactures the i3 hatchback – the design is not.
The China-only BMW i3 Sedan is based on the G20 3 Series and as you’d expect, it looks pretty similar to the conventional-powered sedan. The car is apparently called the BMW i3 35L which means long wheelbase. No specs are available at the moment. But one thing is almost certain: the BMW i3 (3 Series electric) seems to be destined only for the Chinese market.
[Top image shows the curved display in the BMW i4]