Realistic new renderings of the next-generation BMW 3 Series have surfaced online, giving us a glimpse of what’s to come from Munich’s most important model.
Like every iteration of the 3 Series, the new design in the rendering is more of an evolution of the outgoing model than a drastic change. The front fascia is heavily influenced by the current-generation 5 Series with a wider kidney grille and peeled back headlights. Changes to the rear are far more interesting as for the first time, the 3 Series sports connected taillights with a single illuminated light beam that stretches the entire width of the car.
Along with the renderings, several spy interior photos of the new 3 Series have also leaked out. Amongst the usual redesign of switchgear, trims and steering wheel, a full digital instrument cluster is visible in the spy photo. It is expected that the new 3 Series will be equipped with BMW’s next-generation digital cockpit – the BMW operating system 7.0.
Recently unveiled at BMW’s “Digital Day 2018” event, the new operating system 7.0 is BMW’s answer to Audi’s virtual cockpit and Mercedes-Benz’s digital instrumentation display, featuring high levels of customisation that allows control via intuitive touch operation as well as speech, hand gestures or the BMW iDrive controller.
Codenamed G20 and set to arrive sometime in early 2019, the new 3 Series is said to offer improvements in “substance, character, craftsmanship, visual and haptic quality.” The car will pack hi-tech features such as remote controlled parking (which first debut on the 7 Series) and semi-autonomous technology.
Under the bonnet, BMW’s engineers are said to be working on a higher output for the 3.0-litre engines, with increases of 22kW (30bhp) and 30Nm, while the M3 and M4 twins will benefit from a straight-six engine boosted by “e-chargers” and water injection to churn out 373kW (500bhp). BMW is also said to be planning a hot M350i variant to sit below the M3 and M4 that will generate 313kW (420bhp) and matched with an xDrive all-wheel drive system.
A couple of plug-in hybrid models are also on the cards, with the entry-level model using a 1.5-litre engine paired with a 60kW electric motor, while the more expensive model runs a 2.0-litre engine teamed with a 90kW electric motor.
The entry-level model is expected to have a pure electric range of 48km, while the more powerful model is good for 80km.
The 2019 BMW 3 Series is expected to make its global debut at the Paris Motor Show in October 2018.