We know a fully-electric version of the BMW 3 Series is on its way, and this is our best look at it so far. In this most recent batch of spy photos, the car is still camouflaged, but we can spot some details that will be unique to the electric version of the ubiquitous sports sedan.
Firstly, it appears the prototype features the stretched body of the long-wheelbase 3 Series that is currently only sold in China. It has been speculated that BMW opted for the longer body in order to have more room to fit the batteries under it, a point of view that certainly makes sense - you can tell it is the stretched version by looking at the length of the rear door.
We were also able to spot the different headlights. These may simply be the facelift headlights that will feature on all G20 3 Series LCIs, or they could be specific to the 3 Series EV. The bumper is completely concealed by camouflage, but we’re pretty sure it will be unique to the EV and its design will be similar to that of the BMW i4 (this should also apply to the rear bumper). The grille will surely not be as big as on the i4, but it will be completely closed off.
Gallery: 2022 BMW 3 Series Electric
Inside, we expect the electric 3 to feature the same curved display that we’ve already seen in the i4 and all the other interior updates that it features compared to other G22 4 Series models. And since it features the stretched wheelbase, rear legroom should be class-leading.
There are still several unknowns, though: one is the name, which may or may not be i3, and the other is what exactly will power this vehicle. Powertrains will probably be shared with the i4, but will the 3 also get the same range-topping all-wheel drive M50 variant with 536 horsepower, or will BMW only sell it with lower power outputs?
We also don’t know where BMW will sell this model - will be sold alongside the i4, as a roomier and more practical car, or will it only be sold where the i4 isn’t? The model is expected to be unveiled along with the midlife cycle refresh for the current 3 Series, which should be in 2022.