Whether it’s the prolonged coronavirus pandemic or the fact that there have been several model updates introduced in Malaysia over the past couple of years, the G20 BMW 3 Series still seems quite fresh on the market. But the truth is, it’s coming up to three years now since the car made its world premiere at the 2018 Paris Motor Show (remember those?), so it’s definitely getting on a bit.

In fact, it’s coming up to the age where most BMWs get their Life Cycle Impulse (LCI), or facelift to you and me. We know that Munich is working on such an update for the 3 Series, given that images of the nipped and tucked model surfaced on the Internet yesterday. And we do not need to tell you that the Internet works quick – just a day later, Bimmerpost forum user Bmw43 whipped up a render of the new car based on the leaks.

From what we can see, the 3 Series will get a comprehensively reworked front end, which, on the M Sport model you see here, features a large hexagonal centre air intake and L-shaped gloss black corner inlets. This is very similar to what you’ll find on the facelifted X3 and X4 M Sport.

Also visible is a redesigned double kidney grille with more angular contours; thankfully, BMW has resisted the urge to enlarge the opening to hilarious proportions (we’re looking at you, 4 Series). The headlights have also been revised, eliminating the Peugeot-style lower notch and gaining inverted L-shaped daytime running lights. No more “corona ring” DRLs – possibly because of the unfortunate name.


The facelifted 3 Series will likely gain a full electric variant, sharing the i4’s motors

Aside from this front renders, the leaked images also show a revised rear bumper for the M Sport model, incorporating a similar rear diffuser design to the new G42 2 Series. Expect a number of changes to the interior as well, notably the introduction of the new BMW Operating System 8 with its massive curved display panel, already introduced on the related i4 electric four-door coupé.

Speaking of which, the facelifted 3 Series is expected to debut a new full electric variant, likely to nick the i3 name from the groundbreaking original and feature the same power units as the i4. This includes the 250 kW (340 PS) rear motor in the eDrive40 as well as an additional 190 kW (258 PS) front motor in the 400 kW (544 PS) M50. The 83.9 kWh lithium-ion battery delivers a range of up to 590 km on the i4 eDrive40.

The rest of the lineup will likely soldier on with the same 2.0 litre four- and 3.0 litre six-cylinder turbocharged engines as before in regular, mild hybrid and plug-in hybrid forms, paired to the usual ZF eight-speed automatic gearbox. Expect the facelifted 3 Series to be revealed sometime in the middle of next year.