BMW will reveal the next generation of its 3 Series at the Paris motor show in October.
The next-generation 3 Series will make the move to the larger CLAR architecture, which debuted with the 5 Series and X3 models.
The shift will allow the 3 Series to use the same all-electric powertrain and battery pack as the upcoming i4 BEV, earning itself an i badge. BMW will hint at the strength of the 3 Series’ electric future with two plug-in hybrid versions early in its production cycle before unleashing the full electric version for the tighter EU7 emissions rules in 2020.
The first of the plug-in hybrids will run the Mini Countryman plug-in hybrid’s (PHEV) powertrain, which combines a 1.5-litre, turbocharged petrol engine with an electric motor. A more powerful PHEV should use a 2.0-litre turbo petrol motor in concert with a more powerful electric motor and could even use a 330e badge.
The full battery electric 3 Series should arrive in 2020. The powertrain layout is based on the Vision Dynamics concept car from the 2017 Frankfurt motor show and should deliver about 700km of pure electric range per charge. It will also run an array of three, four and six-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, though most models will rely heavily on the eight-speed, ZF automatic transmission.
Six-cylinder engines are likely to be only available on the top-spec 340i in both petrol and diesel forms, while the M3, due around 2020, will borrow heavily from the switchable all-wheel drive of the M5. – BD Motor News