The sixth-generation BMW 3-series, codenamed F30, will be unveiled via streaming video later today

The wraps will come off the new BMW 3-series in Munich this afternoon.

The sixth-generation BMW 3-series, codenamed F30, will be unveiled live via BMW Group’s Facebook page.

BMW has revealed this teaser drawing of the saloon, which will be the model shown off at the launch. The Bavarian marque has plans for five further 3-series body styles: Touring, GT, coupé, convertible and GranCoupé. The last three will dispense with 3-series nomenclature for an all-new 4-series nameplate.

See a teaser picture of the BMW 3-series and Autocar's spy pic

Mark Tisshaw blog: New BMW 3-series - not just another car launch

Visually, the new 3-series leans heavily on the latest 5-series in a bid to provide BMW’s two best-selling models with a more unified appearance.

From the front, the two share a similar look that is continued along heavily structured sides to a high-set rear, which gives the new car a more wedge-shaped profile.

BMW plans to offer the new 3-series with 11 engine options: five turbocharged petrol units and six turbodiesels with piezo injectors. Not all will be available from launch.

The long-serving naturally aspirated 3.0-litre straight six petrol engine has been dropped for a new 2.0-litre, four-cylinder turbo unit that will form of the backbone of the new line-up.

Kicking off the petrol line-up will be a 150bhp turbocharged 1.6-litre four — essentially, the same BMW-developed and Peugeot-Citroën-produced engine used by Mini but turned 90 degrees — in the 318i.

It will be joined by a trio of turbocharged 2.0-litre fours developing 180bhp (320i), 210bhp (325i) and 245bhp (328i). At the top of the line-up will be a turbo 3.0-litre six with 306bhp (335i).

Among the diesels are three 2.0-litre, four-cylinder engines with 122bhp (316d), 143bhp (318d) and 184bhp (320d). They will be joined by three 3.0-litre, six-cylinder units with 204bhp (325d), 245bhp (330d) and 286bhp (335d).

All engines will come as standard with a six-speed manual gearbox and be available with an optional ZF eight-speed automatic. Both gearboxes support standard stop-start, brake energy recuperation and on-demand control of ancillary functions.

The car will be shown off at the Detroit motor show early next year.

UK sales of the new saloon will start next March at prices expected to be an average of four per cent higher than today, in line with extra standard kit.

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