Renderings of the next generation BMW 3 series (codenamed F30) are plenty and the only concrete inference is it is a compacted 5 series. Styling details are now becoming very similar in the Bimmer range with the new 5 looking like a mini 7 series & the new 3 also picking up quite a few design cues from its elder brothers.
The car looks a little less sporty (read, more elegant) than the previous gen but it still has the conservative design that is obvious in the 3 series models. Use of LED’s adds a bit of character & the kidney grille has now become broader just like the new 7 & 5. The car now has a longer wheelbase but use of lighter parts keeps the weight in check.
It is expected to be unveiled at the 2011 Geneva Motor Show with European sales beginning in the winter of 2011 followed by USA. In India the car is expected in the second half of 2012. The current 3 Series, though not the market leader, is a CKD operation that still is turning the wheels for BMW which hopes to lead in that segment one day.
Engines will be downsized considering the current scenario to 3 cylinders. Four cylinder turbocharged engines are also expected in the capacity of 1.6-2.0 liters. Of course, the Bavarian automaker will continue to offer its trademark inline-six powerplants, including new variants of the 3.0-liter twin-scroll turbo unit that makes 306-horsepower and 400Nm of torque. Hybrid variants are also expected.
The 2012 3 Series will also feature a host of new technologies like a redesigned climate control system, more efficient electrical that last longer, a powertrain preheating system, start stop system, solar roof panel, regenerative braking & more.
The M version of the car is expected to carry a straight 6 turbocharged engine with an output of above 450 HP! The 3 series will come in various body styles- sedan, coupe, estate, convertible & also a GT!