The next generation of BMW's 3-series looks like it will get some major revisions when it arrives in about two years. The new model is expected to be the first in the range to get new turbocharged three cylinder engines in both gas and diesel variants. The three-cylinder engines will likely be 1.5-liter units that are essentially half of the latest generation's inline sixes.

BMW's current six-cylinder diesels use a sequential dual turbo setup with small and large blowers to give quick response and better top end power. The new engines may use an electric motor to spin up the turbo more quickly, which would allow the use of a single turbo for reduced weight and complexity.

Aerodynamics will also be a major focus of the new 3, with the expected inclusion of front wheel air curtains. Ducts in the lower front bumper will route air out just ahead of the front wheels, creating a virtual wheel skirt. The high velocity air over the wheels will prevent air coming around the sides from spilling in around the wheels, one of the major sources of drag.

Other areas of improvement will include weight reductions, the incorporation of hybrid drive technologies, low-power climate control systems and eight-speed automatic transmissions.

[Source: AutoCar]

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