The BMW 3 Series has always been a reference in its segment, almost synonymous with the pleasurable driving experience. The model currently available on the market dates from the beginning of the present decade, and it is starting to show some wrinkles. Of course, it was so far ahead of the competition that it still rates more highly than most, even today. But the clock is ticking…
That ticking is getting louder because today the competition is more plentiful and has more to offer. In fact the 3 Series is no longer the sole reference in the entry-level luxury category that it once was. Perhaps worse, its record in terms of reliability has not progressed at the same rate as its main rivals in recent years.
BMW is working to fixing all those issues, with mission one being to make the new 3 Series the segment reference once again. The model, which we’ve learned more details about this week, will be lighter by some 121 lbs, and offer more power than the current edition does.
In short, BMW is going back to the drawing board with its flagship car. Known internally as the G20, the new 3 Series shares almost no components with the model it will replace, and it will be built on the same modular platform that underpins the 5 Series, among others. The engineers have also been mandated with creating perfect equilibrium, and apparently they’ve succeeded: front/rear weight distribution will be 50/50.
Mechanically, BMW promises that the next 3 Series will be equipped with the most dynamic and capable 4-cylinder in its history. No numbers have been revealed, but speculation has it that there will a 5% boost in power.
The new engine will be partnered with a ZF 8-speed automatic transmission.
As for the experience at the wheel, the orders given to the design team by Peter Langen, head of the Driving Dynamics department, were clear: focus on delivering a highly engaged driving experience. To get there, the car gets a widened stance for improved stability as well as new brake, steering and suspension components. As for the suspension elements of the available M Sport package, they will be more dynamic than ever, according to BMW.
The BMW 3 Series should make its official debut in the coming months, and be available at dealerships sometime in the second half of 2019 as a 2020 model.