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by David Zalstein

A lightly camouflaged BMW 3 Series prototype has been spied out in public for the first time, suggesting development of an upcoming facelift for the three-year-old sedan is well under way.

Snapped on the road in Germany by CarAdvice’s spy photographers, the dark blue BMW 3 Series sedan had its front end disguised and all badging removed.

Dubbed an LCI or life cycle impulse by BMW, the facelift would refresh the F30 model – which debuted in 2011 – with revised front and rear bumpers and possibly mildly redesigned headlights and tail-lights.

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The facelifted 3 Series is not expected to be revealed until mid-2015, and BMW Australia corporate communications general manager Lenore Fletcher confirmed to CarAdvice that the local division does not have it in its planning for 2014.

“It is still some time away,” Fletcher said. “We don’t have a lot of information regarding the specifics of the LCI at this point, unfortunately.”

Whether the cosmetic changes will be matched by mechanical revisions remains to be seen, but a plug-in hybrid variant – spied last month undergoing winter testing – looks set to be part of any refreshed future line-up.

Priced locally from $52,300, the current BMW 3 Series sedan has been on sale in Australia since 2012.

Click on the Photos tab for more images.

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