BMW has teased the next-generation 3 Series sedan ahead of its official debut at the 2018 Paris Auto Show. The Instagram video shows a new 3 Series going from a body in white to a full-fledged vehicle on a production line, all while undergoing multiple quality checks as it gets built.
Right away, you’ll note that the overall silhouette and exterior design of the car remains familiar but the automaker has changed a few design cues to distinguish it from the previous generation.
Looking at the headlights, the car no longer has full “angel eye” corona daytime running lights like the face-lifted current-gen vehicle. This time, the pattern has been switched to crescents and smaller half circles above it.
As for the headlight clusters themselves, they no longer get thinner near the grille, which should give the 3 Series a wider look just like the new 5 Series. Out back, the rear end looks similar to the current car save for what appears to be wider taillights.
The split dual exhaust tips also indicate that the model being teased is the M340i, which slots between a standard 3 Series and the high-performance M3. We also get a little peek at the new 3 Series sedan’s interior, too. Inside, there’s a new dash layout and a fully digital gauge cluster. The main touchscreen for the iDrive interface looks similar to the one found in the Z4.
The next-generation BMW 3 Series will be the latest vehicle to migrate to the automaker’s CLAR platform, which already underpins the 5 Series, 7 Series, X3, X4, and X5. Expect the same 2.0-liter turbo I-4 to carry over in two flavors as the base engine while the 3.0-liter turbo I-6 should be available as an upgrade on the M340i with more power than today’s 340i and all-wheel drive standard. An eight-speed automatic transmission should carry over but the chances of a six-speed manual could be slim for the U.S. due to low take rate.
Expect the 3 Series to launch first sometime next year followed by the wagon variant and the performance-oriented M3. BMW hasn’t said if it will bring back the hatchback, which was sold as the 3 Series Gran Turismo. An all-electric version is also expected to join the lineup.