Because the slow drip of information is so consistent and frequent, there is almost nothing left to dangle ahead of us, yet BMW are keeping their all-new 7th-generation 3 Series superfluously under wraps. Officially, that is. However, in the darker corners of the internet, the G20 has been leaked quite thoroughly via the car’s online configurator tool, published on Bimmerpost.
Like its bigger brother, the G30 5 Series, the new 3 Series takes an evolutionary step in terms of its exterior design, building on cues set forth in the outgoing model, the F30. However, unlike the 5er, BMW have taken more liberties, making the new compact exec saloon more dramatically styled overall.
At this point, it’s difficult to form a concrete opinion on the 3 Series’ new look, especially considering how much of an unflattering light an online configurators tends to shine on an otherwise aesthetically pleasing car, if executed inexpertly. However, on first blush, we’re seeing hints of Lexus at the rear and even some from Peugeot with regard to its kinked headlights.
Interior shots are also present, showing a more minimal layout with a dramatic reduction is physical switchgear as well as the central iDrive screen no longer being a 10-or-so-inch protruding ‘float’ unit but rather one that’s more cleanly integrated into the main dashboard mould. BMW’s conservative use of a digitally augmented instrument cluster has also seemed to have been swapped for a fully artificial and dynamic display that looks to be standard fit.
These leaks also confirm the G20 generation will consist of, among others, a 330i and a more performance-oriented M340i xDrive that will bridge that gap between the standard selection of variants and the full-blown M3. They will be powered by a B48 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol and a B58 3.0-litre inline-6 petrol, accordingly, and will likely be accompanied by diesel versions of those same tiers.
Sources have also indicated to Autocar that BMW are also preparing the M440i Coupe and M440d Coupe with identical mechanical specifications to these quicker G20 varieties, though they aren’t due in showrooms until the beginning of 2020 at the earliest.
Following the current F30’s range, the all-new 3 Series is soon to spawn a wagon bodystyle as well as introduce a wider range of plug-in hybrids powertrains - where that was served solely by the 330e saloon - with improved performance and a greater electric range.
The G20 3 Series is without doubt one of the most important cars for BMW in 2018, and it’s initial public reception is key to providing the Munich automaker with crucial feedback and projections to its future success. It is due to receive a full unveil at the ongoing Paris Motor Show, and we’ll have more to cover as that happens.