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We Hear: Next-Gen 2018 BMW 3 Series to Improve Driving Dynamics

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 2/27/2015 Karla Sanchez
We Hear: Next-Gen 2018 BMW 3 Series to Improve Driving Dynamics

A new report from our friends at AUTOMOBILE sheds light on the next-gen 3 Series, which BMW insiders say will be "even better than the last [one]" thanks to much improved vehicle dynamics. This time, they may not be exaggerating.

The next 3 Series, codenamed G20, will improve on the current 3 Series by providing a softer ride despite a sportier and more capable framework. Engineers may have their work cut out for them, but they already plan on achieving this by changing a number of things. For starters, the next 3 will reportedly have a longer wheelbase, wider track, lower center of gravity, and a lighter curb weight. Underpinning the new 3 Series will be a super flexible architecture dubbed CLAR. The name is short for cluster architecture, which will reportedly be utilized on all future rear-drive BMWs. We've reported in the past that this flexible platform was named internally 35up.

Related Link: Research the 2015 BMW 3 Series

2014 BMW 328d Sedan© Provided by MotorTrend 2014 BMW 328d Sedan

Vehicle dynamics will be improved by adding adjustable suspension dampers, switchable anti-roll bars, active steering, and a torque-vectoring system that works together with the stability control and ABS systems. The next 3 Series will also be brought to a stop more quickly thanks to stronger brakes, while other updates include reduced-friction wheel bearings, an adaptive suspension, all-wheel drive with quicker torque distribution, and aluminum carbon-fiber compound wheels.

The big question, though, is what will reside under the hood. AUTOMOBILE says the next 3 will use tweaked versions of the usual engines, which means the 2.0-liter turbo I-4 from the 328i could be massaged to make 260 hp, while the 3.0-liter turbo I-6 could bump power up to 365 hp. Diesel engines will stay the same, while the M3 and M4 could use electronic turbos and water injection to squeeze out around 500 hp. Like we've previously reported, expect to see plug-in hybrid versions. The report suggests one will use a 1.5-liter three-cylinder with a 60-kWh motor that can go for 30 miles on battery power alone, while the other will benefit from a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with a 90-kWh motor good for 50 all-electric miles.

See more stories from the Geneva Auto Show

2014 BMW 320i© Provided by MotorTrend 2014 BMW 320i

How will it look? The new 3 Series will look more muscular and sporty compared to the current car, while it will also have a sleeker greenhouse. Sheetmetal will boast sharper character lines, while inside the cabin will feature high-definition instrument graphics and an upgraded head-up display. BMW recognizes the current 3 Series doesn't have the nicest interior, so the next one will receive better-quality materials in the cabin including nicer carpets, rubber seals, and sill covers. All the latest driver assistance systems will also be available for the new car, including lane-keep assist, self-parking via a remote control, and semi-autonomous driving.

Also like the current 3 Series, the next-gen car will be available in a variety of body styles, including a long-wheelbase version slated for the U.S. and China.

2014 BMW 320i© Provided by MotorTrend 2014 BMW 320i

Related Link: Luxury for Any Budget

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