2012 BMW 3 Series

Few sports sedans have a pedigree like the BMW3 Series, in fact its distinguished history and unbridled success makes BMW’s decision to totally redesign the 2012 model a pretty big deal — and that much more impressive.

Aesthetically, the 2012 BMW 3 Series’ most visible changes appear up front where BMW, in keeping in line with many of its other new cars, specifically the 5, 6, and 7, have received similar attention with an increase in width and height to the front end. The iconic twin-kidney grille no longer separates the headlights like with past models. Instead, the grille redesign has been bridged with the front lamps to create a more comprehensive look. As for the side and rear of the new 3 Series, the same overall design has mostly been kept, with the trunk also benefiting from an increase in size.

If it already sounds like the 2012 3 Series is bigger, that’s because it is. The boys over in Bavaria have chosen to increase the length of the car by 3.66 inches, with the width of the front track stretched by 1.46 inches and the rear by 1.85 inches. And of course, as a testament of German engineering, the 2012 3 Series — despite its increased overall size — is 88 pounds lighter than its predecessor.

On the performance end, the new 3 Series has been outfitted with BMW’s new turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, replacing the 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder of the previous 328i model. Overall, the new engine sees an increase in power with the 3 Series producing a respectable 240 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. While no official numbers are available yet, BMW is reporting that the new 3 Series will sprint to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds and top out at 130 mph.

For those that want to customize their ultimate driving experience, BMW is offering the new 3 Series in four package options: a Sport line, Luxury Line, Modern Line, and M Sport Package.

The 2012 BMW  3 Series will arrive stateside in February 2012 with pricing to be announced at a later date.