Spy-Shots of Cars

It’s been a while since we last saw prototypes of the facelifted F30 BMW 3 Series (Life Cycle Impulse or LCI in BMW speak) being tested, but here’s one now, captured by our European spy photographers. The refreshed entry-level (not for much longer) Munich sedan sports a few more discernible – if still subtle – tweaks than before, suggesting that it is inching closer to a reveal.

As before, we see a disguised front bumper – indicating that there are some changes underneath – but what is new here are LED headlights, which, M3 aside, are making their debut on a 3 Series for the first time. These units look different from those offered on the 4 Series (and the M3), with unique internal graphics – the trademark corona rings feature a semi-circular design as seen on recent BMW concepts.

The rear bumper and boot lid have been camouflaged for the first time as well, which again hint at some revisions made to those areas. The tail light internals have also been redesigned, with light guides that loop in onto themselves in a manner similar to the 4 Series and X4 concepts. Expect minimal changes to be made to the interior as well.

Spy-Shots of Cars

Under the bonnet, the 3 Series range will reportedly be revamped with new powertrains from BMW’s latest TwinPower Turbo engine family. The new B38 1.5 litre three-cylinder and B48 2.0 litre four-cylinder mills have already been slotted into the new MINI Hatch/5 Door and the 2 Series Active Tourer. The three-cylinder in the MINI Cooper and 218i AT produces 136 hp and 220 Nm, bang on what the current 316i makes.

The four-pot, meanwhile, can push out 255 hp and 400 Nm in its highest tune, which would be suitable for a 328i – the current model makes 245 hp and 350 Nm. In the Cooper S, it produces 192 hp and 280 Nm, an increase of 8 hp and 10 Nm over the current 320i. A version of this engine could also make it to an eDrive plug-in hybrid.