BMW indirectly previewed the 3 Series LCI at the end of March when it unveiled the i3 Sedan for the Chinese market. Since the fully electric saloon adopts the same CLAR platform as the combustion-engined 3er, we assumed the facelifted gasoline and diesel models would inherit the same changes. Today, we can confirm the global ICE-powered versions will borrow the styling tweaks of the EV.
Completely revealing images of the exterior have been published by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) in China as part of the 2023 3 Series Sedan’s local homologation. Mind you, we’re looking at the long-wheelbase model built and sold locally. That said, the international 3er should be virtually identical, with the obvious exception of the rear doors as they’ll be slightly shorter.
Images show the 320Li, 330Li, and 325Li – all equipped with the M Sport Package and a rear diffuser we’re honestly not particularly fond of. You’ll also notice a new design for the kidney grille on the 325Li and 330Li, with the latter being flanked by optional laser headlights. Speaking of which, the facelifted 3 Series gets slightly sharper-looking lights at the front, while the taillights are seemingly more of the same.
Generous exhaust finishers à la M340i conceal the much smaller real tip while the overall design of both front and rear bumpers takes after the X3 LCI. The styling changes on the outside are not radical, but substantial enough to differentiate the facelifted version from the outgoing pre-LCI model. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but we’ll admit we prefer the current 3 Series.
Although images of the interior are not available yet, the i3 Sedan showed the switch to iDrive 8 with the curved piece of glass hosting two side-by-side screens. It’s safe to assume the entire 3 Series lineup sold globally will get the latest-generation infotainment system with the imminent mid-cycle facelift. That will also include the new additions to the family. We’re talking about the M3 Touring debuting next month at the Goodwood Festival of Speed as well as next year’s M3 CS special edition.