BMW F30 3-series (2011) first official video footage

Published: 29 March 2011

BMW has released a series of videos on Youtube about BMW prototype testing. The prototype in question happens to be the new 2012 3-series.

We’ll first see the new 3-series, codenamed F30, at the Frankfurt motor show in autumn 2011.

The new BMW F30 3-series saloon – what’s in the video?

Two minutes, thirty-three seconds of BMW engineers driving through the hellishly-hot-yet-spectacular Death Valley in the USA, with a convoy of current production BMWs.

But lurking among the current fodder is a heavily disguised upper-medium saloon. Yes – it’s our first glimpse (just a glimpse, mind) of the new F30 3-series.

There’s a new Munich Mondeo on the way? User-choosers rejoice!

Yes, the now-ubiquitous 3-series is getting a little over-familiar and the current E90 saloon has lost its edge over the original Mondeo man’s wheels. The 320d SE lost to the Ford in our December 2010 comparison. Falling sales since 2009 have caused BMW to accelerate introduction of the replacement F30 saloon to winter 2011.

The F30 is a vital product for BMW’s continued financial health and ambitions of further growth. With the 3-series forming the linchpin of the BMW range, don’t expect radical shifts in platform (still MacPherson struts up front, multi-link suspension at the back), style (an Adrian van Hooydonk smoothing of the least-Bangled previous-generation BMW) or the core range (saloon, touring, coupe, cabriolet).

But there will be a new range of direct-injection four-cylinder turbo engines (in 1.6- and 2.0-litre displacements) serving the 318i to 325i heartland as BMW downsizes for efficiency and emissions gains. The same displacements will be offered on the diesel side of the range, from 318d to 325d.

BMW is expecting 11-17% fuel economy gains over the current straight-six from the engine alone, before applying its Efficient Dynamics technology. But BMW’s traditional six-pot motor will remain at the top of the 3-series tree, and powers the next M3 in twin-turbo guise.

When can I graduate from a Golf TDI to a nice metallic grey F30 3-series?

CAR expects the new 3-series saloon to arrive at the 2011 Frankfurt motor show, and go on sale in winter 2011-2012. If you’re looking for an alternative, there are minor niche brands such as Ford and Vauxhall who also offer quite good midsize saloons.  Just saying…