Spy-Shots of Cars This image has been optimized for a calibrated screen with a Gamma of 2.2 and a colour temperature of 6500°K

Spy-Shots of Cars
This image has been optimized for a calibrated screen with a Gamma of 2.2 and a colour temperature of 6500°K

It won’t be long until the BMW 3 Series is due for a replacement, and Munich has been working hard on just that. The upcoming G20 model has been spotted by our European spy photographers again, and the images show that development of the next-gen compact executive benchmark is moving on nicely.

Compared to previous mules, this particular prototype appears better finished, sporting the side sills and fuel filler cover that were missing before, plus a fuller rear bumper. There’s still plenty of camouflage on top, however, so there isn’t much that can be gleaned about what the finalised production model will look like.

The finished product will likely have styling that is reminiscent of the current F30, with similar proportions and design details, but with cleaner surfacing and sharper lines. Such an approach would not be too dissimilar from that taken by BMW on the new G30 5 Series, refining and sharpening the conservative styling of the previous F10 without altering the basic formula.

Spy-Shots of Cars This image has been optimized for a calibrated screen with a Gamma of 2.2 and a colour temperature of 6500°K

Spy-Shots of Cars
This image has been optimized for a calibrated screen with a Gamma of 2.2 and a colour temperature of 6500°K

As for the interior, the next 3 Series will almost certainly not carry over the cut-and-shut cabin that we saw in August, which was basically a hacked F30 with components from newer BMWs held into place with tape. Instead, the G20 will likely utilise a smaller, less expensive version of the interior seen on the G30 and the G12 7 Series, with the option of a digital instrument cluster and a new iDrive infotainment system.

Also expected to be shared with the G30 and the G12 is the Cluster Architecture (CLAR) that is expected to shave more than a few kilograms from the not-exactly-portly F30, despite an expected increase in size. All this without using carbon fibre like the G12 – instead, the G20 should make increased use of other lightweight materials such as aluminium and magnesium, much like the G30.

Engine choices are expected to run the gamut of the usual three-, four- and six-cylinder turbocharged petrol and diesel engines, including the revised three- and four-pot engines announced earlier in the year. Also expected is a plug-in hybrid – much like the new 330e – as well as a fully-electric variant and the usual high-performance M3 and M4.