That's because its debut isn't far off.
Come this fall, there will be an all-new BMW 3 Series for all other automakers to benchmark. The definitive sport sedan is due for a complete redesign and, assuming all goes to plan, the next generation 3 Series will have its official debut at the Paris Motor Show next October. Codenamed G20, the next 3 Series, as we previously wrote, appears to resemble a shrunken 5 Series. This latest crop of spy shots, just taken from the streets of Germany, does indicate to us that BMW designers have done a lot more to differentiate the two sedans.
Take a look at this 3 Series test mule from the side and you'll notice it has a more aggressive and sportier stance compared to the 5 Series (the M5 is a different story). This also looks to be equipped with the M-Sport package, but even without the package's sportier front fascia and large front intakes, the G20 3 Series will remain true to its heritage as a sports sedan. It'll be less conservative looking than either of its two larger siblings. Our spy photographers also managed to snap some interior shots, which show off the large touchpad display and overall dash design. It's both familiar and new, meaning the overall look is clearly BMW but, for example, the touchscreen is larger than what's found in the current generation.
BMW has previously said it needs to seriously upgrade the overall design and material quality of its interiors, specifically when compared to its Audi and Mercedes-Benz competition. The answer to what'll be under the hood is still unknown at this point, but we can make some pretty solid guesses. The base engine will likely be a 1.5-liter turbo three-cylinder, while the M340i, the vehicle we believe you're looking at here, will offer a turbocharged inline-six. A plug-in hybrid variant is also expected, though probably not until 2020. There are also rumors of a fully electric version. We expect BMW to begin the teaser campaign leading up to the big reveal later this summer.