Here’s some details from Autocar UK on BMW’s next generation bread and butter – the replacement for the E90 BMW 3-Series set to be launched for the 2011 model year. No doubt some of this may be just conjecture on Autocar’s part, but here’s the list anyway:
- The 4-cylinder engine will finally be replaced by a turbocharged unit, but Autocar is suggesting 3-cylinder engines will be used. The idea of an inline-3 in a 3-series is a little bleh though, what’s wrong with just downsizing to a small 4-cylinder and then turbo-ing it? But there’s no doubt that mechanically the inline-3 engine will likely be competent.
- Greater care for aerodynamics, such as the use of narrow and upright intakes in the front bumper to channel the air through the bumper and out of a slot in the wheel well that pushes and smoothens the airflow across the face of the wheel.
- The chassis will have provisions for an integrated motor assist kind of system for the rear axle. Space also needs to be designed for batteries and control units related to hybrid systems.
- The 8-speed auto will find its way into the whole BMW range, with the 7-speed twin clutch reserved for sports models only. Though there has been improvements of leaps and bounds to computer-clutched transmissions, a real auto will always be smoother than a twin clutch.