BMW M340i Facelift Spied Tackling The Nurburgring

Spy Shots / Comments

The refreshed BMW 3 Series looks slick and stylish in these latest spy shots.

We've known for a while now that BMW is preparing to give the popular 3 Series a facelift. Believe it or not, the current BMW 3 Series debuted nearly four years ago, so the time is right for a mid-cycle update, or 'life cycle impulse' in BMW speak. Recent spy shots have shown BMW testing the refreshed 3 Series Hybrid and a new fully electric variant, but now our spies have spotted the regular gasoline-powered 3 Series facelift for the first time getting a workout at the Nurburgring.

Shown in M340i guise, the prototype confirms that the updated 3 Series thankfully won't inherit the gaping kidney grilles from its M3 and 4 Series siblings.

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Camouflage is still covering the front and rear, but leaked images have already shown the updated 3 Series will get new headlights with inverted daytime running lights and a more stylish design in line with the new 4 Series. The new front bumper appears to be inspired by the updated X3 M. Expect the rear bumper and taillights to get similar tweaks.

The newest photos give us a glimpse of the revamped interior, which is upgraded with the new eighth-generation iDrive infotainment system and a curved display from the electric i4 and iX. In the i4, the dual-screen setup combines a 14.9-inch touchscreen with a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster.

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Under the hood, the current M340i is powered by a 3.0-liter turbo six-cylinder engine generating 382 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque, which is sent to the rear or all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. The 3 Series LCI is alleged to retain the same engine options as the current model, so there won't be any changes under the hood. Slotting below the M340i, the 330i utilizes a 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder rated at 255 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque.

Judging by the prototype's current stage of development, the refreshed 3 Series should be ready for a debut early next year. The timing suggests the 3 Series Touring wagon will be based on the facelifted 3 Series, but it, and the accompanying M3 Touring, sadly won't be sold in the US.

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