BMW’s New 3 Series is due to go on sale towards the end of this year, so these will surely be amongst the final spy shots before the production car is exposed. As we’ve seen from previous pictures the F30 3 Series looks almost like a scaled-down 5 Series – a sensible looking saloon.

BMW have something of a tradition in alternating between the controversial and conservative as each model moves through the generations, so expect this F30 3 Series to have slightly broader appeal than its E90 predecessor.

As with the soon-to-be-launched 1 Series, we hear BMW will adopt a similar distinction between standard specifications including Urban, Sport and SE.

We’re expecting the usual range of four-cylinder and six-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, with an emphasis on smaller-capacity turbocharged powerplants boosted by the usual EfficientDynamics technologies including the new ECO PRO fuel saving mode, Auto Start-Stop function and BMW’s latest intelligent energy management systems.

The new eight-speed auto introduced in the 1 Series will be available as an option to the standard six-speed manual transmission. In the spy pictures we see 4-pot front brakes available for the first time on a 3 Series, which may indicate the car to be a ‘Sport’ line version.

The F30 3 Series is due to make its debut either at the 2011 Frankfurt motor show next month, or shortly afterwards at a special unveiling in Munich.

Pictures: Palbay Spyshots (Copyright reserved)