Kidney Punch: Seventh-generation BMW 3 Series Teased, Aims for Wider Look

kidney punch seventh generation bmw 3 series teased aims for wider look

Undoubtedly, the BMW 3 Series, besides being the benchmark among premium sports sedans, holds the crown for having the most stereotyped drivers.

It doesn’t help that, while attempting to make my way across a city jam-packed with tornado-darkened intersections last weekend, a sedan failed to wait its turn at one of the impromptu four-way stops, nearly hitting me. The make and model of the gauntlet runner? A BMW 3 Series. I’d love to see a study on this phenomenon.

Anecdotal accounts of impatient drivers aside, BMW loyalists have a new 3 Series to look forward to, and they won’t have to wait long to see it.

This image, released Wednesday, precedes the 2019 3 Series’ big October 2nd reveal at the Paris auto show. Looks wider, doesn’t it? For the upcoming generation, BMW’s designers saw fit to eliminate the narrow strip of body color separating the two signature grille openings, fusing the two together in a chrome embrace. Headlights, now underscored by LED hockey sticks, move away from their traditional circular shape.

Beneath the vehicle, the 3 Series sees the same modular CLAR architecture coming to a host of rear-drive models in the Bimmer stable. Steel, aluminum, and carbon fiber combine to form a platform that’s lighter and stiffer than before. Like all modular platforms, this one is versatile. A number of powertrain configurations are possible, though Bimmer’s keeping tight-lipped about what we can expect at launch.

BMW developed CLAR and its FAAR front-drive sibling to hedge its bets. The automaker isn’t sure exactly how many future buyers might want a plug-in hybrid, electric vehicle, or traditional gas-powered whip, so it developed the platform with all of these applications in mind. It looks like we’ll see an all-electric 3 Series before too long, too. A silent prototype was spotted plying the streets of Germany in August.

Currently, 3 Series drivers with a soft spot for the environment can choose the 330e, a plug-in hybrid sedan with a paltry electric range of 14 miles.

Joining the next-gen 3 Series in Paris are the new Z4 and the resurrected 8 Series coupe.

[Image: BMW]

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  • Kc1980 Kc1980 on Sep 27, 2018

    It will look like the 5 series...the end.

  • Jkross22 Jkross22 on Sep 27, 2018

    The good news is that BMW should know where the F30 was a failure - interior design, seat material quality, poor value, dead steering, not class competitive, gets beat by the new Accord. The bad news is that the brand is a luxury brand first. They'll fix the interior, but driving dynamics won't be present until you get the top trim of this car. And value won't appear anywhere.

  • EBFlex "I've only filled the gas tank three times in 2500 miles"Assuming you went from 0 gallons to full (17.2), you have averaged almost 50MPG over those 2500 miles. 50 MPG in a Jeep Wrangler. To all of you EV nut jobs, tell me again how PHEVs are not the absolute best thing to happen to automobiles since the wheel. And tell me how they don't make EVs look like the awful play toys that they are.
  • MRF 95 T-Bird The Buick 215/3.5-liter aluminum V8 was one of GMs great engines. Unfortunately GM being GM in one of their greatest mistakes was selling off the tooling to BL. If they kept it around and improved upon it it would have been a fine motor for their compacts and midsize models through the OPEC oil crisis.
  • Chris P Bacon Not sure why a '21 is getting reviewed, because there have been improvements to the 4xe. I've got a '22 4xe Sahara. May 2022 build in High-Velocity yellow with a soft top. As soon as it was announced I knew I wanted to try it, not for the fuel mileage, but for the technology. I don't have a Level 2 charger, it charges fully overnight on the included Level 1. I see an indicated range of 27 miles regularly. Today it indicated 29 when I unplugged. I've only filled the gas tank three times in 2500 miles, a full charge costs me about $3 based on my current electricity supplier. I don't experience the rough transitions between electric and gas, so maybe Jeep figured it out? It's stupid fast when using all the power off the line. So much so that it will break the rear wheels loose when you stomp on it. I agree that plugin hybrids are the future. I see no need for a pure electric. This is the way to go.
  • RHD The word B R O N C O written in contrasting paint on the dashboard is quite unnecessary. The passenger certainly knows what kind of vehicle he or she is in. That detail is a big fail. The red and white Bronco looks great, especially with tires that have honest-to-goodness sidewalls on them.
  • Luke42 Aren't those trim levels just different colors of paint?That's what they sound like, at least. 🤷‍♂️