Prototypes of the next-gen BMW 3 Series have finally appeared on camera with production body panels. The car you see here is codenamed G20 and it aims to close the gap with newer rivals like the Mercedes C-Class and the Audi A4. Gone are the days of BMW’s supremacy in this crucial segment and the brand is now pulling out all the stops to close the gap.
The current-gen F30 3 Series was given a mild facelift last year and this all-new model is expected to debut in late 2017. The current 3 is aerodynamically efficient and cleverly packaged, if a little generic in the new BMW range. For the next-gen model, the design will be updated by redefining the overall proportions and giving it a sportier stance. These spy-shots indicate a modest refresh though.
Even though it will get larger, the next 3 Series is expected to be lighter than the current car. The secret to this is the lightweight CLAR architecture that BMW currently uses for the new 7 Series and 5 Series. CLAR uses a combination of carbon-fibre, aluminium and high-strength steel for improved strength and weight savings in construction.
When launched, the new 3 Series would take on cars that have been comprehensively upgraded in recent times, namely the Mercedes C-Class and the Audi A4.