New 2018 BMW 3 Series spotted for the first time

28 Jun, 2016 3:11pm Jonathan Burn

First pics emerge of BMW's next-gen 3 Series. The Audi A4 rival shows a design similar to next 5 Series

BMW's big selling 3 Series will arrive with a new look, new tech and more power in 2018. The German manufacturer is readying its all-new seventh generation saloon, with prototypes being spotted at the Nurburgring for the first time. 

From the spy shots it’s difficult to gauge just how much the design of the 3 Series will change, but given how the saloon has evolved over the years don’t expect anything too dramatic. The new 7 Series has set a new benchmark for BMW in terms of design and tech so expect its softer curves and more elegant lines to appear on the 3 Series. 

From what we can make out, the familiar styling details such as the BMW double kidney grille remain, but the curvy headlamp design appears totally different from those on the current model. 

Under the skin, we can expect BMW will take a leaf out of Audi's books buy cutting weight yet adding space. The current BMW 3 Series is falling behind the latest models for rear seat room and bootspace, so that will be a priority.

It will be made possible by the 3 Series using a new lightweight aluminium chassis which will first underpin the upcoming X3 SUV. The switch will help contribute significantly to the 80kg of weight the 3 Series will shed over the current model. That weight reduction will also boost fuel economy and performance. 

As for engines, the 3 Series will stick with three, four and six-cylinder engine options with all featuring efficiency tweaks. A 330e plug-in hybrid will also be on offer. 

Do you like the way the new BMW 3 Series is shaping up? Let us know in the comments section below...