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The next-gen BMW 3 Series has been spied again, wearing less camouflage than before – giving us a better look at the upcoming C-Class rival.

While its production debut is likely to be months away, this latest prototype appears to be wearing production-spec bumpers front and rear, along with the final iterations of the tail-lights.

The swirly black-and-white wrap is concealing most of the finer details, but we reckon the new 3 Series will employ a ‘mini-me’ look to the larger 5 Series and 7 Series – which is already evident in the shape of the double kidney grille and light treatments.

Serving as a basis for the new 3 Series will be BMW’s CLAR modular architecture, which already underpins the aforementioned 5 Series and 7 Series along with the new X3 and the upcoming X7 SUVs.

Key improvements with the new platform will shed a decent amount of weight from the current car, no doubt improving handling, performance and economy.

Powertrains will likely be revised versions of the current range – namely turbocharged three-, four- and six-cylinder petrol and diesel engines – along with a plug-in hybrid.

It’s unclear at this stage just when the new 3 Series will make its production debut, but we reckon it will at least be previewed before the end of the year.

However, don’t expect to see any in local showrooms until at least next year. Stay tuned to CarAdvice for all the latest BMW 3 Series updates.

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