No, this isn’t Jeff Koons’ BMW Art Car, but rather an oddly camouflaged prototype for the next-generation 3-Series Wagon, which was recently spied testing in Germany.
BMW is already hard at work on the sixth-generation 3-Series — code-named F30 — and we’re not surprised to see engineers are already testing the wagon — er, Touring — version seen here. Perhaps less surprising are the lines hidden underneath the zany vinyl wrap — it appears the wagon’s rump will closely resemble the rounded tail used on BMW’s new 2011 5-Series Touring.
That model isn’t sold here in North America, for fear of conflict with the company’s new fastback 5-Series Gran Turismo. We’re curious if the 3-Series Touring won’t make it stateside either, as BMW is also developing a Gran Turismo variant of the 3-Series. It will ride on the same wheelbase as the wagon (which will be longer than the sedan), and sport a panoramic glass sunroof.
If BMW decides there’s room for two 3-Series wagon-ish vehicles in its portfolio, expect powertrain offerings to mirror those of other F30 models. Early reports suggest the new 3-Series range will utilize a 220-horsepower, turbocharged 2.0-liter I-4, a 270-horsepower, 3.0-liter, inline-six and a 300-horsepower, turbocharged 3.0-liter I-6 (likely the company’s latest N55). Depending on how BMW views its 335d experiment, a turbo-diesel I-6 may also return to North America.
Look for the earliest F30 3-Series models — likely the coupe or sedan — to launch as early as 2012. Wagon, Gran Turismo, and the performance M3 variants will be on the market no later than 2014.
Source: Motor Trend; Automobile