The G20 generation of the BMW 3 Series saloon has been spotted testing with a new front design that mimics that of the 2017 5 Series

These are the latest pictures of BMW’s next-generation 3 Series, which has been spotted wearing a previously unseen front bumper.

The future saloon, codenamed G20, will replace the current F30 3 Series in 2018.

Previous G20 mules have been spotted testing at the Nürburgring (you can see one in our gallery), but this new prototype offers the best glimpse yet of what the final production model will look like and suggests it will share several features with the 2017 5 Series.

See what we make of the current generation BMW 3 Series saloon

The biggest example of this shared design is the front bumper. It looks to feature the same three-intake layout as the next 5 Series, and while the temporary headlights are heavily camouflaged, the same overall light structure will most likely be incorporated.

Sources say the other changes to the G20 3 Series will give it tighter features and a harder-edged exterior.

Spy photographers caught a glimpse of the latest test mule's dashboard design, but it looks to be an adapted version of the current F30 3 Series dash, rather than previewing what's to come in the next-gen car.

Engines and driveline

The G20 is also expected to feature BMW’s turbocharged 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine at its entry-point, with turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol and diesel engines directly above it in the range.

More potent models, including the M3, will most likely still use turbocharged in-line six-cylinder units, but with gains in power and reductions in CO2 output.

When it arrives, the G20 range will have to conform to the EU’s next wave of emissions legislation, meaning it will be the first generation of 3 Series tasked with producing an average CO2 emissions output of less than 100g/km.

Like its predecessor, it’s expected to be available in both rear and four-wheel drive forms.

Most recently, BMW updated its current 3 Series GT model to bring it into line with the rest of the range, which was refreshed last year with a facelifted exterior and new engines.

Our Verdict

BMW 3 Series

Revised saloon icon gets a superb engine and a more upmarket interior but less than definitive handling

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Comments
11

20 January 2016

Hasn't the F30 LCI already introduced BMW’s turbocharged 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine to the 3 Series line-up?

20 January 2016
courtster wrote:

Hasn't the F30 LCI already introduced BMW’s turbocharged 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine to the 3 Series line-up?

Only as a hybrid driving the front wheels in the 330e. Not sure if you can even buy that yet. I think they mean as a stand alone engine.

20 January 2016
winniethewoo wrote:
courtster wrote:

Hasn't the F30 LCI already introduced BMW’s turbocharged 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine to the 3 Series line-up?

Only as a hybrid driving the front wheels in the 330e. Not sure if you can even buy that yet. I think they mean as a stand alone engine.

F30 LCI 318i has the new 1.5 3 cylinder, replaced the 1.6 in the 316i.

20 January 2016
JezyG wrote:
winniethewoo wrote:
courtster wrote:

Hasn't the F30 LCI already introduced BMW’s turbocharged 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine to the 3 Series line-up?

Only as a hybrid driving the front wheels in the 330e. Not sure if you can even buy that yet. I think they mean as a stand alone engine.

F30 LCI 318i has the new 1.5 3 cylinder, replaced the 1.6 in the 316i.

What is that? It isn't on BMW.co.uk nor bmw.de. Neither website has a 318i on the books with a 3 cylinder engine. Only the 2 series gran tourer has this engine.

20 January 2016
winniethewoo wrote:
JezyG wrote:
winniethewoo wrote:
courtster wrote:

Hasn't the F30 LCI already introduced BMW’s turbocharged 1.5-litre three-cylinder engine to the 3 Series line-up?

Only as a hybrid driving the front wheels in the 330e. Not sure if you can even buy that yet. I think they mean as a stand alone engine.

F30 LCI 318i has the new 1.5 3 cylinder, replaced the 1.6 in the 316i.

What is that? It isn't on BMW.co.uk nor bmw.de. Neither website has a 318i on the books with a 3 cylinder engine. Only the 2 series gran tourer has this engine.

Damn, I am wrong. I just looked it up. The 318i is a 3 cylinder 1.5l engine. Will shut up now.

23 June 2016

Hopefully the "tighter features and harder edged exterior" won't be so that BMW can hide another couple of inches in the dimensions......

 

 

It's all about the twisties........

9 August 2016

Supposed to be the best saloon on the Road(?),before you start, i have one,it's only a 2litre with Msport suspension,not particularly fast handles up to a point,yes, solidly built,cheap to run?...eh,no,not really,would i buy anything else?,er, that's a no,so,on with the corporate lippy and look like all other BMW's,just wish they'd do more Petrol engines!

Peter Cavellini.

9 August 2016

Not yet FWD ?

Where are the NA L6 ?

...

9 August 2016

Any bets that this will look exactly like the E46 from 1999 with slightly different lights and creases? The 3 series looks so dated.

10 August 2016
winniethewoo wrote:

Any bets that this will look exactly like the E46 from 1999 with slightly different lights and creases? The 3 series looks so dated.

If only...the E46 was the last really good looking Three Series, although the facelift did it no favours.

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