BMW will expand the current number of models offered and start downsizing the engines offered in these vehicles.
Look for a hatchback version of the 3-series and new options like lane departure warning systems, night vision and radar-based adaptive cruise control. All good options to keep the dealerships techs busy.
What BMW used to be noted for was their performance, they will have a new series of light weight 4-cylinder engines, with variable valve timing, and sequential turbo chargers producing nearly 220hp unless you live in the US, then you get Nobama, no fun 205 hp version so Americans can’t hurt themselves. It’s rumored that the current 6-cylinder engine will only be offered in the high end cars at a premium cost.
BMW will be offering a Hybrid version of the 3-series which was co-developed with General Motors.
Why are the BMW model numbers shrinking? New stricter US fuel economy standards are forcing the US market to be more fuel efficient and stop selling gas guzzling cars. While not very common in the US, BMW 1-Series cars have always been popular in Europe where the overall cost of ownership is dictated by engine size. New stricter US fuel economy standards will force the US market to be more fuel efficient and stop selling gas guzzling, you going to see a lot more 1-Series cars sold in the US so watch those model numbers shrink. If you were driving a 540i in 2008, chances are good that you be in a 335i in 2012.