Its been five years since the present generation 3-series was launched and about time we started getting some news on the all new model slated for release in 2012. BMW facelifted the 3-series midway through its life and the present model is selling well in India, after the launch of the 320d corporate edition. The new model will heavily borrow styling cues from its larger siblings, the concept CS and the present generation 7-series and F10 5-series.
As is tradition, the new 3-series will sport slightly longer wheelbase compared to the current model and the test mule reveal proportions that mimic the outgoing 3-er. This is too early to decide how the 3-er will eventually look so we cannot speak much on the design. What is confirmed is the fact that the new 3-er will make extensive use of BMW’s Efficient Dynamics technologies right from downsized and 3-cylinder engines, low drag aerodynamics, and high-tech electronics. Aiding efficiency will be achieved due to increased use of aluminum and other advanced materials in its construction.
Interestingly, rather than taking the new 3-er upmarket, BMW is trying to make the new 3-er less expensive to build and may pass it on to the customers. This seems to be the trend after VW announced that the new Jetta will be cheaper than the outgoing model while Toyota are working to make their cars 30% cheaper by 2013. Indians will be interested in the 320d which might lose its current 2.0L engine to an all new 1.5L 3-cylinder heart which should produce about 170bhp while returning more than 17km/l. It should also help BMW battle it out against the next-gen C-class and Audi’s A4.