While we waited patiently for BMW to unveil its Facelifted 3-Series range, a bunch of photos appeared online for the common suspect – the Chinese Ministry of Industry and Information Technology. The photos illustrate both the regular and extended wheelbase body style of the China-Spec 3-Series, revealing an updated design that will probably be carried on international models sold elsewhere, including North America, Australia and Europe.
Starting from the front, we were already familiar with the newly designed full-LED headlights from the recently released BMW i3 eDrive35L. However, the ICE-powered 3-Series bumper is different from the EV, with a larger central reception and a thin L-shaped side intake with black trim. The grille is also different with vertical slits or horizontal elements highlighted in chrome.
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With the exception of new wheel designs and new color options, the profile remains largely unchanged. The side seals are another point of difference with the electric i3 which features extra inlet behind the front wheels. Moving to the rear, the redesigned rear bumper has significantly larger diffusers, vertical reflectors surrounded by dark colored trim, and dual tailpipes with chrome trapezoidal outlets much larger than the actual pipe.
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The 3-Series for the ADAS suite comes with some front sensors and a camera on the grille which is probably not standard in China. We should note that all the featured models are fitted with the M Sport package, thus the front fender has the M badge. This means we need to see a slightly different bumper design at the regular trim level. We expect more Sportier-looking 3-Series with optional M Performance Parts as indicated by our Spy Shot.
The 3-Series is a regular 4,728 mm (186.1 in) long, 2,851 mm (112.2 in) wheelbase. The 3-Series Li is 4,838 mm (190.5 in) long with an extended wheelbase of 2,961 mm (116.6 in). These figures are very similar but not identical to the i3 eDrive35L
While we don’t have access to the interior images, the facelifted 3-Series range will probably inherit the new curved display from the i3 eDrive35L seen above, including the digital instrument cluster and infotainment touchscreen that will last last. Operating system 8.
According to the spec sheet, the 3-Series will be available in China with three petrol powertrains. The 320i produces 154 hp (115 kW / 156 PS), 325i 181 hp (135 kW / 183 PS), and the 330i 241 hp (180 kW / 245 PS). In Europe and North America, the Powertrain range will obviously include more electrifying options, including light hybrids and plug-in hybrids, along with diesel-powered variants that will probably survive a few more years. In the states, we expect the current model to reflect the limits of the current model, including a 2.0-liter turbocharged four for the 330i and hybridized 330e and a 3.0-liter twin-turbo straight-six for the M340i.
The debut of the updated 3-Series will take place sometime next month, with a market launch towards the end of 2022. In addition to the sedan, the Turing Bodystyle is getting similar updates for all the markets that are available (aka North America).
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