Due out later this year, as a 2016 model, is an updated version of the BMW 3-Series. The current generation of the popular luxury sedan was all-new for 2012, so 2016 marks the date of the car’s mid-cycle update. Today we have a new set of spy shots of a prototype for the updated sedan, with the latest test vehicle seen wearing the car’s new M Sport package.

Being a mid-cycle update, the changes to the styling will be minor. It appears there will be some new bumpers and tweaks to the lights for the exterior. Inside, new trim options and an updated infotainment system should be among the changes. Similar updates will appear on the 2016 3-Series Sports Wagon, which has also been spied in prototype form.

Though yet to be confirmed, we hear the 2016 3-Series will feature BMW’s new four- and six-cylinder engines based on the modular design first seen in the automaker’s B38 three-cylinder engine. The design calls for cylinders with a displacement of 0.5 liters, and the addition of fuel-injection, variable valve timing and turbocharging technologies.

Along with the introduction of new engines, we may see the current 328i and 335i badges replaced by 330i and 340i badges, respectively. On top of this, a new plug-in hybrid model will be launched. This will feature a four-cylinder paired with an electric motor integrated with the transmission, with the advanced drivetrain delivering around 245 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. The updated 328d, meanwhile, should keep the current model’s diesel engine.

Transmissions will include six-speed manual and eight-speed automatic units.

Stay tuned for updates as development continues.


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