Next-generation sports saloon spied in winter testing ahead of potential Frankfurt show debut

BMW's next-generation 3-series has been scooped in winter testing for the first time.

Britain’s best-selling sports saloon will get a ground-up refresh later in the year, possibly kicked off by a debut at the Frankfurt motor show in September.

The underpinnings of the new ‘F30’ 3-series will take the model into new technology areas, with a future-proofed platform ready for hybrids and electric power.

The big news at launch is likely to be a 150bhp 1.5-litre, three-cylinder diesel, expected to produce less than 100g/km of CO2, aided by further advances in BMW’s Efficient Dynamics tech.

BMW’s junior exec will grow in size, getting close to the dimensions of the outgoing 5-series, courtesy of a longer, wider platform. As a result, the new 3-series will have a roomier cabin.

Variants will follow, starting with an estate in late 2012 and the new crossover 3-series GT. A coupé and cabrio will arrive in 2013.

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