Another leak has come out of BMW, this time giving us our first undisguised look at the facelifted 2022 BMW 3 Series.

    Instagram user Wilco Blok shared this image of an almost completely assembled 3 Series, missing only its grille.

    As we can tell from the cutout, the grille won’t grow larger with this mid-cycle update.

    This looks to be a model equipped with the M Sport package, judging by the front bumper treatment.

    The front bumper bears a resemblance to the recently updated X3 M Competition and X4 M Competition with its vertical air intakes that blend into a diagonal accent.

    There’s a more rectangular shape to the lower opening, which features a black hexagonal insert also reminiscent of BMW’s souped-up mid-size SUVs.

    It also appears to have borrowed its mirrors from the M3 and M4, as well as the M Competition SUVs.

    Spy photos from earlier in 2021 indicate the 3 Series could receive the new ‘curved’ dashboard layout seen in the i4 and iX, with a large digital instrument cluster and touchscreen infotainment system located in one housing.

    In the i4 and iX, the cluster measures 12.3 inches and the touchscreen 14.9 inches.

    Powered by the iDrive 8 operating system, BMW’s latest infotainment system supports over-the-air updates, has a minimalist interface with large icons, and improved personalisation and voice recognition features.

    The current 3 Series only arrived in Australia in 2019, so we don’t expect this mid-cycle update to appear any earlier than 2022.

    The 3 Series is sitting neck-and-neck with its Mercedes-Benz C-Class arch-rival in the sales race.

    To the end of June 2021, BMW has sold 2260 examples of its 3 Series sedan and wagon against 2314 examples of the C-Class sedan and wagon.

    With a redesigned C-Class due in the fourth quarter of 2021, however, Mercedes-Benz may be able to put some distance between the two.

    MORE: Everything BMW 3 Series

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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