Like it or not, BMW will be launching the new mid-size hatch with the form factor something along the lines of a smaller 5-Series Gran Turismo.
Whether it will be called the 3-Series Gran Turismo or come as a new model, remains unclear. Whatever it's called, this is what it will look like.
Two completely undisguised versions were spotted in the US during a recent photo shoot for the car, and they will be making their official world debut soon, most likely as 2013 models. The version in brown is a regular model, while the silver one has been fitted with a planned M Sport Package.
From the spy shots, we can see that the 3-Series GT is sporting the latest in BMW design cues. Some key elements include a more pronounced grille, headlights that blend into the grille, accented intake surrounds and new vender vents shaped like a reversed number seven.
Many of these elements will also be appearing on the upcoming 4-Series Coupe and 4-Series Convertible, the respective replacements for the 3-Series coupe and convertible models. The elements were first previewed on BMW’s Active Tourer Concept at the 2012 Paris Auto Show, a concept that will also spawn a smaller 1-Series GT.
At the rear, we can clearly see an additional line running across the hatch just above the BMW roundel and a "GT" badge. This suggests that the new 3-Series GT will feature a two-tier rear hatch design, just like its bigger brother.
The previous interior spy shots reveal the cabin’s design will stick close to the 3-Series sedan's themes. We're also expecting an updated navigation system, a revised menu for the iDrive interface and more voice-activated controls as part of BMW's expanding ConnectedDrive technology portfolio
The vehicle rides on a slightly longer version of the platform underpinning the latest BMW 3-Series, which means it should be powered by the same slate of engines as well. This equates to a 180kW/350Nm 2.0-litre turbo four in a base 328i GT and a 225kW/400Nm 3.0-litre turbo straight-six in the 335i GT. An xDrive all-wheel-drive system will likely be an option.
Look for a debut at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show in January.