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Spy Shots—Next BMW 3 Series: Slimmer Stance, Possible Hybrid

2012 BMW 3 Series prototype

The next-generation 2012 BMW 3-Series may seem a long way off, but Brenda Priddy tells us these are the first shots of the next 3-Series prototype. From these photos, it appears the typical 3-Series proportions—short rear overhang, aggressive stance typical of the E36 through current E90 models—will remain. But the overall look is slimmer and more toned than the current 3, Priddy says.

Her sources also tell her that the front of the car will receive a widened kidney grille (but smaller than the current 5-Series), and classic L-shaped lighting units and typical BMW layout in back. The convertible will retain the folding hardtop, as the current folding hardtop has proven to be the most successful 3-Series cabrio yet.

The next 3 will also likely incorporate the latest in BMW’s Efficient Dynamics technologies. Like the 1-series, there will be an active hybrid model using a range-extended three-cylinder engine connected to an electric motor as well as BMW's active aerodynamics, a solar roof panel for energy efficiency in the use of interior controls, brake energy regeneration, stop-start and pre-heating technology for the engine, gearbox and differential.

2012 BMW 3 Series prototype

Photos copyright Brenda Priddy & Company. Reuse or reproduction without copyright holder's consent is prohibited.