The new 3 Series, codenamed F30, is penciled in for an appearance at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show, and though its very hard to tell beneath the psychedelic camouflage, our spy photographers tell us the car does actually look quite different to the existing shape.
Powering the new models are a range of 3.0-litre six-cylinder units, typical to those found in the current line-up. The 335i makes a comeback, although it loses a turbo and drops to around 208kW to make way for a new model, the 340i. The 340i will feature twin-turbochargers to muster a total of 268kW. The other petrol engines will be four-cylinder turbocharged units displacing either 1.6- or 2.0-litres.
High-output diesel engines will also feature, under the Efficient Dynamics banner, with a 323d (152kW) and 335d (228kW) model expected.
BMW expects most models to be fitted with the optional eight-speed automatic transmission complete with stop-start technology.
At this stage it is rumoured that the M3 will lose its 4.0-litre V8, the engine to be replaced with a straight six, twin-turbocharged unit with direct injection developing 308kW. The engine swap not only cuts emissions, but saves weight too. Sharper acceleration is promised thanks to an upgraded dual-clutch gearbox (available only to M3 customers).