This is our first view of the BMW 3-Series’s forthcoming facelift. The company has ticked off most of the familiar mid-term revision checklist, and the 3-Series will get beefier looks, greener engines and the option of a seven-speed twin-clutch transmission.
Styling revisions include fresh front and rear styling that picks up on the themes seen on BMW’s recently unveiled fifth-generation 7-series.
Up front, the car gets a heavily profiled bumper, newly contoured bonnet and reworked headlamps with altered graphics. At the rear there are new tail lamps with a revised bumper. According to BMW’s design boss, Adrian van Hooydonk, the changes are intended to emphasise the car’s width.
The biggest mechanical change is the introduction of BMW’s seven-speed dual clutch transmission, launched in the M3 cabriolet. The 318d also gets the option of a new six-speed automatic.
The facelifted 3-series also sees the introduction of BMW’s new ‘BluePerformance’ brand - the firm’s equivalent to Mercedes’ BlueTec. The first BluePerfomance car will be a 330d fitted with a NOx trap, which will meet the forthcoming EU6 emissions regulations, not due until 2011. All other engines are carried over from the current car.