The BMW 3 Series (or G20) gets a mid-cycle update for its upcoming international launch in July.
The ubiquitous 3 Series has been famous worldwide as BMW's primary people-mover since 1975. Currently in it's seventh generation and codenamed G20, it's getting a mid-cycle refresh, or what BMW calls Life Cycle Impulse, or LCI.
The LCI G20 is set to come standard with full LED headlights, with adaptive LED headlights optionally available. The latter will feature a cornering light function, non-dazzling matrix high beam, dynamic headlight range control and variable light distribution to make driving at night that much safer for the driver as well as other road u sers. The headlights themselves will be sleeker and sharper-looking than those on the current pre-facelift G20.
Under the BMW 3 Series' bonnet, the G20 LCI will feature a series of plug-in hybrid models (three for Sedan and four for Touring), four petrol engines and four diesel powerplants, with outputs ranging from 150hp to 374hp. The six-cylinder petrol engine, most likely in M340i guise, and all diesel engines will feature 48V mild hybrid technology for improved fuel economy and to aid acceleration when needed.
All 3 Series will come with 8-speed automatic gearboxes, or what BMW call 'Steptronic', with steering wheel-mounted gearshift paddles. Launch Control and Sprint functions can be optionally specified.
Rim and tyre sizes will be a minimum of 17-inches for all Sedan models, with the Touring's items likely being larger in diameter. Specify the optional M Sport package, and along with some aesthetic changes like a honeycomb-pattern BMW kidney grille, 18-inch (or optional 19-inch) M light-alloys with staggered tyre widths can be fitted. Also part of the M Sport package is an additional body colour - M Brooklyn Grey metallic.
The inside of the LCI 3 Series will see BMW's Curved Display being fitted as standard and featuring a 12.3-inch instrument cluster display and a 14.9-inch infotainment display. BMW's Operating System 8, or iDrive 8, will feature as the infotainment's operating system, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are included.
However, we're left scratching our heads as to why BMW decided to go the Chicken McNugget route of a stubby gear selector a la Volkswagen and Audi. We (mostly) like BMW's automatic gear levers, and it's a bit of a disappointment to see it completely transformed here.
Still, we can take comfort that the LCI G20 will come standard-fitted with 3-zone climate control, although we're less thrilled that physical knobs and buttons have been eschewed in favour of touch controls via the infotainment system.
Standard fit driver-assist systems will include Front Collision Warning with brake intervention, Cruise Control with brake function and Lane Departure Warning with lane return, with a plethora of options like Driving Assistant Professional and Parking Assistant Plus.
More to come when we get behind the wheel of the LCI 3 Series.