• Nov 4th 2009 at 10:39AM
  • 29
2012 BMW 3-series prototype - Click above for high-res image gallery

This morning we get our first "clear" look at the next generation BMW 3 Series as one of our intrepid spy photographers captured one sitting on a trailer somewhere in Germany. The newest version of BMW's mainstream model is expected to debut sometime in 2011 as 2012 model. Judging from these shots, it does not appear that the size of the new 3 will change much, although we can expect BMW to implement some weight reduction measures in order to help meet new fuel efficiency and emissions standards. The overall proportions look pretty similar to today's car, but the profile shot indicates a more upright grille stance similar to the new Z4 and 5 Series GT.

The next 3 is also expected to adopt some new powertrains including a new turbocharged and direct-injected three-cylinder engine. When the new 3 arrives here in the U.S., it will likely also mark the return of four-cylinder engines to the brand's U.S. lineup, to which we say, bring on the fuel savings. Thanks to Annie and Andrus for the tips!

[Photos: CarPix]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      My goodness this sucker has gotten big...
      • 5 Years Ago
      For some reason I'm not as excited about this one as I was the E90/E92. I really hope they stop making them bigger and heavier.
      • 5 Years Ago
      make it lighter and smaller or i'm not going near that boat.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Love the new trailer hitch option...is that part of the new redneck package?
      • 5 Years Ago
      It reminds me of the E36 a little (from the side).
      • 5 Years Ago
      The hitch is a European one, designed to curve around the rear bodywork. No safety chains to prevent runaways over there.

      Nothing exciting about this redo- except maybe those taillights.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I prefer the bangle front end. These new ones look like Mitsubishi/Volvos now and don't curve rearwards to flow with the hood.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It wouldn't surprise me if this new 3 had a slightly longer wheelbase. It's biggest competitor right now is the new A4, and it has 2 additional inches of rear legroom over the current E90.

      Longer wheelbase isn't that big of a problem if they keep the weight and driving dynamics in check.
      • 5 Years Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      I just hope it always keeps getting nicer.
      • 5 Years Ago
      it looks too common and /90s ish and i pray it looses those tail lights
      • 5 Years Ago
      Looks bigger to me, but I'll reserve judgement until I get a better look.

      ps. Autoblog, why don't you guys fix the picture galleries? I'm pretty sure you've heard a lot of us complain... we want to get to the actual photo we click on, not start at the beginning every time. Are you guys trying to pull a Honda on us (we tell you what we want, but you ignore it and give us what you think we should have: this new gallery format is quite the Crosstour...)?
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