The next-generation BMW 3 Series has been undergoing road tests for sometime ahead of its expected debut in 2018. A prototype was recently spotted in the streets of Munich wearing less camouflage and giving us a peek at its production-spec head and tail lights.
Overall proportions of the new G20 3 Series, particularly when viewed from its rear quarter angle, appear rather similar to the current F30 model, suggesting an understandable unwillingness on BMW’s part to deviate too far from the present generation’s successful styling template.
Up front, we see design cues that establish the G20 as a contemporary of the G11/G12 7 Series and G30 5 Series, with oversized kidney grilles visually joined to the headlights. The G20 will be based on a downsized version of BMW’s CLAR platform that underpins both the G11/G12 and G30.
The test mule’s wheels appear rather small for the vehicle bodywork, suggesting an entry-level wheel size of 17 inches thereabouts.
At the rear, we get a glimpse of the G20’s new design tail lights. Whilst its outline appears to follow BMW’s L-shaped signature, the blinkers now line at the lowest part of the assembly, as opposed to being along the top on most BMW models currently in production. Reverse lights appear to be fitted onto the bootlid.
The test mule also sports a dual exhaust configuration with one pipe either side of the vehicle. In the current F30 3 Series, this configuration is reserved exclusively for the six-cylinder 340i that is not available in Malaysia, but the current G30 5 Series and G12 7 Series already feature this setup for their 2.0-litre 530i and 730Li variants.
The current F30 3 Series was launched worldwide in 2012 and was given its mid-life facelift in 2015 that saw the introduction of new engines from BMW’s latest-generation B-series modular engine family. Expect the G20 to carry over this range of petrol, diesel, and PHEV engines in similar states of tune.