BMW highlights next-generation 3 Series

The 3 Series is losing weight.

BMW wants to regain its crown in the compact sports sedan segment. To that end, it's making the next-generation 3 Series lighter and more powerful than the model currently sitting on dealer lots. Official images of a camouflaged test mule give us an early look at the sedan.

The company started from scratch; the next 3 (called G20 internally) shares almost no parts with the current model. It's built on a modular platform shared with the 5 Series, among other models, and engineers fine-tuned it to achieve a perfect 50:50 weight distribution. The use of lightweight materials makes the 3 Series up to 121 pounds lighter than the current model.

BMW promises the G20 will boast the most powerful four-cylinder engine ever fitted to a 3 Series. Additional technical specifications remain under wraps, though we know it's about five percent more powerful than the 2.0-liter currently found in the 3 and it shifts through an eight-speed automatic transmission provided by ZF.

Peter Langen, the head of BMW's driving dynamics department, asked his team to put an immense emphasis on making the 3 Series more engaging to drive. It will boast a wider track that increases stability, and new components for the braking, steering, and suspension systems. The M Sports suspension, which BMW offers at an extra cost, is sportier than ever, according to the company.

The 2020 BMW 3 Series will make its public debut in the coming months. Expect the teaser campaign to continue until then. Sales will begin before the middle of next year.

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