Do these photos give us our first undisguised look at the next-generation BMW 3 Series? According to F30Post, the car seen here is the F30-generation 3 Series that is expected to debut some time in 2012.
We have already spied the new car in winter testing and strutting its stuff in the city, but this our first look without any camouflage tape obscuring the sheet metal. From the photos, we can tell that BMW’s 3er has become more grown up, taking on some design cues from the 5 and 7 Series. Sleeker headlights, more prominent hood creases, and a stubbier trunklid with new taillight designs are among the highlights. The overhead views also reveal the special in-dash projectors needed for BMW’s head-up display system — which would mark the first time it was available in the 3 Series line.
It’s widely expected that the 2013 3 Series sedan will debut in March 2012, which would coincide with the Geneva Motor Show. Coupe, station wagon, and convertible variants will all trickle out several months after the sedan bows.
The biggest change for the American market is that BMW’s new turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four may become the base engine for the 328i. The downsized engine has already made its way under the hood of the BMW Z4 sDrive28i and 2012 528i. The 335i is expected to continue using a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six, but power could climb a bit higher in the new car.
F30Post says that BMW will release photos and information on the new 3 Series in November, ahead of a public debut at Geneva next March. The sedan is apparently set to go on sale in the U.S. in spring 2012. Watch this space for more as the next in a long line of BMW 3 Series moves steadily closer to fruition.