Don't worry - the big grilles won't be migrating to the 3.
BMW has had a lot of success with the 3 Series, but as good as the car is, there's always room for improvement. That applies to styling just as much as it does to tech, although there are some areas of the current G20 3 Series that are perfect just as they are. One area that is rarely overlooked for a mid-life refresh is styling. Earlier this year, a possible leak showcased what could happen to the 3 Series, but a few details like M-style mirrors made us doubt the leak. Now CarBuzz has exclusively uncovered the design of some new BMW bumpers via recent patent filings with the US Patent and Trademark Office, and they look like they're destined for the facelifted 3 Series.
The earlier leaks helped us determine that the headlights of the new 3 Series would be getting a slight redesign, ditching the kink and moving to a more traditional cluster. These patent drawings suggest the same, but the rest of the bumper design is different. Two bumper designs were uncovered, one looking like a sharper M Sport version and the second like a more plain design that might adorn base models. Recent spy shots of the 3 Series still show a lot of camouflage on the front end, making it difficult to see which models bear the greatest similarity to these new designs, but it appears the 3 will inherit some of the triangular design traits from the new 2 Series Coupe. Had it not been for the headlights meeting the kidney grilles, we would've said these new designs were for the facelifted 2 Series Gran Coupe, which could still be a possibility.
Finally, we have a new rear bumper design. We're quite certain that this is not for an M Sport model, as it shows a full-width faux diffuser and no rear bumper vents as on current range-topping 3 Series models. Recent spy shots have shown the facelifted 3 Series with a fender-mounted charging port, so we can't discount the possibility of one of these new bumper styles being applied to the new 3 Series Hybrid or even the electric 3 Series. With so many recent sightings of the disguised LCI (Life Cycle Impulse, or facelift) 3 Series, we expect that development will wrap up soon and we'll get a clear picture of the next 3 before year's end.