has posted its speculations on the 2012 F30 3 series. Here are the highlights:
For all our past and future F30 info, spy shots, and media, please see http://www.bimmerpost.com/3-series/f30/
- [It] runs on a longer wheelbase and wider track than the currrent E90-based models. The 3 Series grows by 2 inches overall, but spy photos reveal it has shortened overhangs, especially at the front, meaning occupants will enjoy more space.
- Seen in profile, it is clearly a member of the same family as the new 5 Series. The headlamps are more tapered toward the center, with a series of lines that radiate out and back from the corners of the BMW kidney grilles, giving the face a dynamic look. The hood centerline is raised slightly, improving pedestrian crash protection.
- The new platform's suspension is effectively an update of the existing hardware, with a five-link rear end, most of which is forged aluminum, and aluminum-intensive double-joint struts up front. Because the platform incorporates new electronics networks, the car will come with optional adaptive dampers as well as the active front steering currently offered. We don't know yet whether the adaptive anti-roll chassis will filter down from the 5 Series.
- Powertrains get various upgrades to match the firm's Efficient Dynamics motto. In Europe, the base gasoline engine will be the Mini Cooper S' 1.6 turbo, though at a lower state of tune of about 150 horsepower. A new four-cylinder Valvetronic gas direct-injection 2.0-liter turbo will replace the current unblown sixes. A 3.0-liter blown six will remain at the top of the range, possibly topping out with the 320-horsepower version from the new 640i. All automatic transmissions will have eight ratios.
- BMW also plans a gas/electric hybrid version for the U.S.