After months (years) of spy shots, renderings and speculation, BMW’s all-new next-generation 2012 3-Series is finally upon us. The F30 3-Series, which will go on sale in Feb. 2012, is most noticeably larger and more efficient than its predecessor.
Its design cuts a more-aggressive profile, borrowing elements from the new 5-Series and 7-Series while still managing to look fresh. The car’s new elongated hood starts high then tapers down sharply toward a new front face. Larger kidney grilles integrate seamlessly with the angry-eye headlights. The whole thing looks good. Real good.
The big news under the hood is an all-new 2.0-liter TwinPower turbo 4-cylinder engine, which will replace the 2011 328i model’s 3.0-liter six as the base engine. The new motor makes 240 horsepower and 260 lb-ft. of torque. Expect fuel efficiency of 30+ highway mpg. A new 8-speed automatic transmission promises at least the efficiency of the standard 6-speed manual.
Ever wanted an inside look at just what exactly happens on the assembly line as a new car is built? Follow the journey of a new 2011 BMW 3-Series as it is crafted by humans and robots at BMW’s Munich plant where the 3-Series is built. Courtesy of time lapse video, the whole process from stamping to paint to interior and powertrain assembly takes just over 4 minutes.
After the whole shebang, highlighted by the famous BMW Roundel emblem being carefully placed on the hood, the car roars off into the distance, ready to be paired with a happy driver. Very cool!
BMW has announced a Spring 2012 release date for its all-new 3-Series, bearing chassis code F30. The last gasoline current-generation E90 models will leave assembly lines in Oct. 2011, with diesels ending production in Aug. 2011.
As is BMW custom, the all-new F30 3-Series sedan will debut first, followed by the coupe, convertible and M3 variants in that order.
The F30 M3 will likely see release in early 2013. A handful of spy shots and renderings have revealed parts of the 3-Series’ new styling. The lines are more chiseled than the swoopier E90, which has been on sale since the 2006 model year.
Look to the new 5-Series and restyled Z4 for styling cues. The F30 will have a more upright kidney grill, shorter overhangs and a steeply raked hood.
The outgoing E92 3-Series is fluid where the new car is chiseled.
Engine options will include turbocharged inline-four and inline-six cylinder engines, at least one diesel and a rumored three-cylinder. The last is extremely unlikely to make its way to the U.S. market. The M3 engine has not yet been announced, though BMW has considered several options, including the possibility of a turbo V6 based on the X5 M’s V10.
The German luxury car company knows that its customer base is eagerly awaiting the all new 3-Series.
Toward year’s end and approaching early 2012, expect very heavy incentives as dealers cleanse their inventory of the outgoing E90 models.
The current standard 3-Series sells starting at $34,600 for the base 328i sedan. Pricing should go up for the F30 to keep up with inflation and to address what should be a very strong demand at launch.