• Mar 22nd 2010 at 2:00PM
  • 32
It's been over five years since the E90 BMW 3 Series was introduced, and according to Automobile, the all-new bread-and-butter Bimmer is set to hit the market in 2012. Codenamed F30, the next 3er is reportedly set to employ the F20 1 Series' front strut layout instead of the 5, 6 and 7 Series double wishbone arrangement. But the new underpinnings aren't the real news.

Five body styles will make up the 2012 3 Series: The standard sedan, wagon, coupe and convertible (each coming out about six months after the former's introduction), along with a Gran Turismo model in 2013. The slant-roof five-door we've reported on previously will take cues from the 5 Series that shares the same name, but will feature a one-piece hatch unlike it's bigger brother's two-piece unit.

Automobile also reports that the next two-door will feature bespoke sheetmetal with a more canted windshield, lower roofline and sculpted flanks, while the convertible will continue to use a retractable hardtop instead of a canvas roof.

Naturally, the M division is hard at work on the next M3, and it's likely to drop the 420-horsepower V8 in favor of a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six putting out around 450 hp. There's a slight – very slight – possibility that M could develop a "Speedster" variant of the 3 Series with a fabric roof and cut-down windshield, and BMW is looking into creating a three-door shooting brake 3 Series, which we whole-heartedly approve.

[Source: Automobile]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      wait "front strut layout instead of the 5, 6 and 7 Series double wishbone" going cheap..
        • 5 Years Ago
        i dont think there has ever been a 3 series w wishbones up front
        • 5 Years Ago
        The 3-series has used a strut front suspension for many years.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Oh no! Just when early E90s were just getting cheap enought that cell phone kiosk salesmen who live in their parent's basements could afford them - now a new body style! Oh no....

      But seriously I agree going from wishbones to struts is a serious copout. That was the beginning of the end of sporting pretentious for the Honda Civic.

      Will there be a price cut to go along with it? of course not, then they couldn't keep the lease ponzi going....
        • 5 Years Ago
        Ponzi lol

        At the rate they are going there won't be a need for a Chinese knock off when BMW will sell you a fake BMW lol leatherette and all...
      • 5 Years Ago
      I knew they'd go with a TT 6-cylinder, I just was't sure whether it'd be inline or V configuration (as BMW had hinted earlier). While I'm sure it's going to be a great performer, I'm going to miss the throttle response and engine note of the current M3.

      I'm aware of the changing legislative environment and the desire for increased fuel economy and that BMW does not operate in a vacuum. I just hope they can make it as engaging a drive as the current one. We'll see how the M enthusiast community takes the news.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Meant to add: I bet many of the enthusiasts will be pacified when the experience the surely enormous increase in torque over the current engine.
        • 5 Years Ago
        every single M3 has been less engaging and less fun to drive than the one before

        and sales have gone up for every new M3
      • 5 Years Ago
      My question is: Will BMW do anything about that ugly 3-way body seam gap on the coupe, formed by the door frame and rocker panel? It's always been an eyesore for me.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Twin turbo M3, right on.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It will be a V6 TT. Guaranteed, I have conformation on that one.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Ugh struts again? I thought BMW was going to update the 3ers front suspension by indeed using the double wishbone setup.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Hmmph. Dina cranked 490 hp with a supercharged 3.2 liter S54 engine....warranteed just like BMW, even through BMW.

      That 3.0 turbo six ain't a gonna live with 450 turbo hp and aluminum headbolts....LOL!
        • 5 Years Ago
        @TigerMil, I don't think it's going to be the same 3.0 twin turbo--it might be a new architecture, or a reinforced or a heavily tuned S54 in6.

        It'd be cool if it was an aluminum block or something--if I recall BMW managed to get the 4.0L V8 to weigh less than the 3.2L i6!
      • 5 Years Ago
      In a cool way, the M3 is returning to its six cylinder roots. BMW seems to make some of the best turbo engines around, so I'm not worried.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Oh no, not another BMW Crosstour!

      It's another internal struggle between the "Ultimate Driving Machine" faithful that turned BMW into a builder of hotly coveted sporting road machines, and the "Joy" marketing types, who think that people will buy anything with a roundel plastered on it. Gah!

      Which brings me to last week's Rant at The Autoextremist:

      “Truth” vs. “Joy.” A tale of two car companies.
        • 5 Years Ago
        nice link

        very well written, bmw has diluted its brand, they are no longer the ultimate driving machine. they are just another luxury brand

        case in point, the M badge doesn't mean anything anymore, just a hi power option for some really nice luxury cars
        • 5 Years Ago
        ^holy crap I was about to post the same thing... I'm glad I read the comments!
      • 5 Years Ago
      i agree, the v8 m3 was always a bad idea. they felt they had to have a v8 because everyone else had a v8 in their high end sports sedan

      that is never a good reason to do anything
      • 5 Years Ago
      Decontenting the double wishbones? I think the suburban moms have won.
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