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2012 BMW 3 Series unveiled – update

October 15, 2011

BMW has just unveiled the all-new 2012 BMW 3 Series at its world premiere event in Munich, Germany. And right on schedule too, after it announced a couple of weeks ago that the F30 2012 BMW 3 Series would be unveiled October 14.

As previously reported, the entire 2012 BMW 3 Series range will be turbocharged, ranging from, at least initially, a BMW 320d turbo-diesel to a top-spec BMW 335i. A 2012 BMW 316d and BMW 318d will also join the lineup after the initial launch. In the middle of the range is where most of the new exciting stuff lies, mechanically anyway, with the inclusion of the N20 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder unit for the 2012 BMW 320i and 2012 BMW 328i.

All 2012 BMW 3 Series unveiled variants feature an all-new body, in tune with the company’s latest design language. Previously speculations had pointed out that the new 2012 BMW 3 Series would simply be a shrunken version of the BMW 5 Series. And it does appear that way. But is that really such a bad thing? The BMW 5 Series has been regarded as quite a handsome and intelligent-looking thing in the recent past.

There’s that new, more pronounced upper grille section at the front with more slimline headlights that link up to the twin grilles, as well as a longer, flatter-looking bonnet compared with the outgoing range. The side also looks more like a solid slab with one main kink rather than the curvy profile of the current model.

At the rear, there’s clear design inspiration taken from the bigger BMW 5 Series. It offers large kidney-style taillights, all in red, while the deck of the boot lid features a faint lip or edge which rims the width of the panel.

Look forward to more details and on-going updates to this report very soon. We’ll provide full specifications and proper images continuously, as they are released.


BMW has released information about new models; the 2012 BMW 320d, 2012 BMW320d EfficientDynamics, 2012 BMW 328i and the flagship 2012 BMW 335i.

Starting from the bottom of the range, which will be bolstered by a BMW 316d and BMW 318d (86kW and 107kW, respectively) in some markets later down the track, we have the BMW 320d. All new models, including the new 320d feature BMW’s Drive Performance Control. This provides the driver with four different driving modes; ECO PRO, Comfort, Sport, and Sport +, although Sport + is only for models that have been optioned up with sport upgrades such as sport suspension.

The 2012 BMW 320d is powered by a 2.0-litre TwinPower turbo four-cylinder diesel engine developing 135kW of power, while the 2012 BMW 320d EfficientDynamics offers 120kW of power, but presents an average fuel consumption rating of just 4.1L/100km.

The 2012 BMW 328i comes with the new N20 2.0-litre TwinPower turbo four cylinder engine, as seen in the new BMW 528i announced for Australia two days ago. It offers 180kW of power and 350Nm of torque, helping it achieve 0-100km/h in just 5.9 seconds – an awesome time for a mid-spec 3 Series. The new BWM 328i also comes with an average fuel consumption rating of under 6.4L/100km.

At the top of the range sits the 2012 BMW 335i. Like the current model, the new BMW 335i comes with a 3.0-litre TwinPower straight-six engine developing 225kW of power and 400Nm of torque. BMW has improved fuel economy for the 335i, reducing its average from 9.6L/100km to 7.9L/100km (35.8mpg UK). The new 335i is capable of sprinting from 0-100km/h in just 5.5 seconds.

As speculated, BMW will be releasing a 2012 BMW ActiveHybrid 3, using the 335i powertrain matched to a 40kW electric motor system. BMW has also revealed that the xDrive all-wheel drive system option usually only available in limited markets, will be made for right-hand drive models as well as an option. It’s unclear what markets, including Australia, will get this at this stage.

The 2012 BMW 3 Series will go on sale in Australia in February, 2012.

Click play on the video below to see the 2012 BMW 3 Series out in motion on the road.

Brett is the editor and founder of PerformanceDrive. He's obsessed with driving, having played with Matchbox cars until he was tall enough to drive a real one. After initially working as a mechanic, Brett earned a degree in journalism and entered media as an editorial assistant at Top Gear Australia magazine. He then worked at CarAdvice.com.au. His dream is to live next door to the Nurburgring in Germany.

  • scarnon

    looks like the early 90’s (I think) 7 series front end in the front end view on the video preview