New details are starting to emerge about the next generation BMW 3-Series believed to come out sometime in 2018.

It was less than two weeks ago when BMW applied a very subtle facelift on its compact model, but work on a successor codenamed G20 is already underway. Sources close to BMW cited by CAR magazine are saying the Bavarian marque is focusing on improving the vehicle's "substance, character, craftsmanship, visual and haptic quality."

We should expect to see improved materials and a wide variety of equipment packs providing better value for money and the possibility to select goodies such as a power kit, beefier sport brakes and assistance systems like remote controlled parking and semi-autonomous tech. The infotainment system is believed to benefit from a large touchscreen display providing support for gesture control and voice activation while a larger head-up display is also planned.

In terms of engines, the report specifies BMW's engineers will bump output of the 3.0-liter engines by 30 bhp & 30 Nm while the M3 (and M4) will benefit from a straight-six engine using "e-chargers" and water injection to enable a total output of 500 bhp (373 kW). While the M3 and M4 are expected to remain RWD, there might be a hot M350i version delivering 420 bhp (313 kW) to an xDrive setup.

There should also be a couple of plug-in hybrid versions, one with a 1.5-liter engine working together with a 60 kW electric motor and another one with a 2.0-liter engine teamed up with a 90 kW electric motor. The first version is expected to provide an electric range of 30 miles (48 km) while the beefier version should cover 50 miles (80 km) before running out of battery juice.