Next BMW 3 Series Saloon to arrive in 2018

  • New version of hugely popular BMW saloon on the way
  • Petrol, diesel, hybrid and electric powertrains expected
  • Touring estate model set to follow in 2019, M3 in 2020
  • New version of hugely popular BMW saloon on the way
  • Petrol, diesel, hybrid and electric powertrains expected
  • Touring estate model set to follow in 2019, M3 in 2020

First details have begun to emerge about the 2018 BMW 3 Series Saloon.

The next version of this popular four-door saloon is set to take on the Mercedes-Benz C-ClassAudi A4Lexus ISAlfa Romeo Giulia and Jaguar XE – all highly capable cars that appeal to both company car drivers and private buyers.

BMW's xDrive all-wheel drive system is likely to appear on the 2018 BMW 3 Series

However, the BMW’s always been the sportier option – great to drive, with a cabin designed around the driver’s needs.

As with previous 3 Series it will have rear-wheel drive as standard, though BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive system will be available on some versions.

What engines will the 2018 BMW 3 Series have?

There are no official details on the UK specification of the next-generation BMW 3 Series at this stage. But we are expecting an even wider range of engine options than usual, including the possibility of a full-electric version.

That said, the turbocharged four-cylinder petrol and diesel options are likely to continued to make up the lion's share of sales. More powerful six-cylinder turbocharged petrol and diesel options should continue, in spite of the car industry's continuing obsession with downsizing.

BMW 320d Saloon is a very popular version of the current 3 Series

In time we’ll see a new M3 performance model, while a plug-in hybrid similar to the current 330e is a certainty. The distinct possibility of a pure electric 3 Series would reflect the modern car market’s general move towards electrification.

Conventional engines in the previous 3 Series have included the popular diesel 320d along with the lower output 318d and more powerful 330d. Petrol options have included the 320i, 330i and 340i.

What’s the cheapest BMW 3 Series to run?

We’re expecting the introduction of a 1.5-litre, three-cylinder petrol engine (also used in the 2 Series 218i) in the form of the 138hp 316i, while a 316d represents the lowest-powered diesel motor that we’ve driven in the MINI Cooper D.

We're expecting an eDrive version of the BMW 3 Series Saloon

Both of these engines should offer a compelling proposition for those looking for the lowest possible VED car tax or benefit-in-kind because they’ll offer low CO2 output.

Some variants of the 2018 BMW 3 Series should easily dip under the 100g/km threshold.

What else can we expect on the 2018 BMW 3 Series?

Technology already on the 5 Series and 7 Series models is a given, so expect gesture control along with lots of driver assistance features (including byut not limited to adaptive cruise control, active lane-departure technology, autonomous emergency braking) and the very latest BMW iDrive infotainment system.

The iDrive multimedia system as seen in the BMW 5 Series that we're expecting in the 2018 3 Series

We’re not expecting the exterior styling of the new car to be hugely different to the current 3 Series. It may follow the more modern styling cues of the latest 5 and 7 Series, but it will remain recognisably a BMW regardless.

Next BMW 3 Series Touring on the way in 2019

The estate version of the 3 Series will arrive a year later than the saloon in 2019. It’s set to use the Touring moniker just like all other BMW estate cars.

New BMW M3 slated for 2020 reveal

We'll see a new version of the legendary BMW M3 in 2020. It'll feature a six-cylinder twin-turbo engine like the current car, but with all-wheel drive and water injection among the new features aiming to make this the go-to choice for a new supersaloon. 

Expect around 500hp to rival the Audi RS5, Mercedes-AMG C 63 S, Jaguar XE Project 8 and Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrofoglio. 

Full details of the 2020 BMW M3 on CAR online

When will the 2018 BMW 3 Series go on sale?

There are no firm details yet, but the new 3 Series may be revealed to the world at the 2018 Geneva motor show, which begins on 6 March next year.

As ever, Parkers will be among the first to drive this important new car. 

Keep an eye out for the full 2018 BMW 3 Series Saloon review coming soon

Read more on the 2018 BMW 3 Series on sister website CAR

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