Next-generation BMW 3-Series to have all-electric variant

Article by Andrew Christian, on July 22, 2016

One of BMW’s most celebrated vehicles is the BMW 3 Series, a compact executive car that has been in the market since 1975. There have been six generations of the said vehicle, all of which come with a unique quality and charm. Now, another generation of the 3 Series is in the making that will take on challengers like Audi, Jaguar, Mercedes and even the leading automaker in electric vehicle development, Tesla. What does BMW have in store for us? Let’s take a sneak peak.

As far as what has been made known, the next generation 3 series will come with three, four and six-cylinder engines that will compete with the Audi A4 and Jaguar XE in terms of CO2 emissions. There are also plans to make a plug-in hybrid version and an all-electric version which will take on the Tesla Model 3. This next generation 3 Series will be codenamed G20 and will follow the current trend in using carbon fiber construction technology.

To further reduce weight, the G20 3 Series will adapt a new platform called the Cluster Architecture technology (CLAR) which was used in the 7 Series and will soon be used on the X7. It will make use of a combination of carbon viber and different kinds of metals.

Most probably the bodyshell parts, door frames and transmission tunnel will receive the most revision. BMW aims to reduce its weight by 180 pounds which will aid in outrunning its competitors. Moreover, with the CLAR platform engineered “with electrification in mind”, a 90 kWh battery is being developed for the electric 3 Series to give it a range boost to up to 300 miles. A gasoline engine will also be made available for the hybrid as well as a range extender on the electric 3 Series.

The G20 3 Series will also have interior upgrades such as a wider legroom resulting from a slight extension on the wheelbase and an improved material quality for the dashboard that will compete with Audi and Mercedes’ upgrades. The electric variant will also be designed to be able to compete with the Tesla Model 3 and will make sure to excel in points where the Model 3 has failed, i.e. its “barren interior” and “questionable looks”.

The next generation 3 Series or G20 is expected to debut next year and will most probably be at the 2017 Frankfurt Motor Show. Sales will start the year after except for the electric variant which will debut later than the rest, possibly by 2020. But fret not as one of the plug-in hybrid versions will come out along with the other variants in 2017.

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