Not very long more to go before the G20 BMW 3 Series makes its debut, and so the automaker has begun offering first details of its upcoming seventh-gen sedan.

The new car, which will ride on BMW’s modular Cluster Architecture (CLAR), is slightly longer and wider than the outgoing F30, and it has a longer wheelbase as well. Weight is also down, with up to 55 kg being shaved off its mass, while torsional rigidity has been increased by 15 to 20% over the outgoing model, according to Autocar. This is said to be due to the greater use of aluminium, high-strength steel and magnesium.

The G20 will get a new version of BMW’s variable sport steering offering greater precision, but it’s in the area of handling that that the most attention has been paid, focusing on aspects of the suspension. New bits including twin-rated passive shock absorbers being employed for the M Sport suspension. These provide additional damping support at the extremes of wheel travel, offering improved rebound control at the front axle and better compression support at the rear.

The result is a flatter and more supple ride, with less body movement, changes that should see the 3er once again stake a claim to the handling crown. According to the automaker, the new suspension hardware significantly increases the effective spring rate of the M Sport suspension, and the difference in response and body control between it and a standard suspension is wider – and more discernible – than before.

The report indicates that project insiders have revealed that there won’t be much change in the available engine range, although revisions are expected to result in a slight increase in power and torque, and also offer incremental gains in fuel economy. The 2.0 litre turbo petrol in the 330i tested by the publication, for example, now produces 260 hp (up from 252 hp) and 400 Nm of torque (from 350 Nm).

Manual transmissions are expected to be fitted as standard on models lower down the range, but at 330i variant levels and higher only an eight-speed automatic will feature. Available as an option on more powerful variants will be a limited-slip differential, effectively a pared-down version of the e-diff found on the M3, which utilises clutches to direct torque between the inner and outer rear wheels.

Aspects of the interior haven’t been formally revealed yet, but as spyshots of the cabin have indicated, the centre stack and console layout will follow on that seen on the new Z4. The report notes that the sampling mule offered more polish in the cabin through brighter work material for trim.

The G20 is expected to make its world debut at the Paris Motor Show in early October, and the way it works now, expect more details about the new compact exec to emerge before then.