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BMW wants to reclaim the crown in the sports sedan segment.

Once the gold standard in the sports sedan segment, the BMW 3 Series has gotten a little bit stale over the past couple of years. The Munich-based company plans to remedy that when it introduces a brand-new model.Enthusiast website BMW Blog reports the next-generation 3 Series will be sportier to drive than today's model. It will also be lighter because it will ride on the modular CLAR platform, and it will make more extensive use of lightweight materials like aluminum.

The transformation will continue in the cabin, where BMW has vowed to eliminate most buttons from the 3's center console. It will receive an updated infotainment system that responds to basic hand gestures, a feature borrowed from the bigger 7 Series. A digital instrument cluster and a head-up display will both be offered at an extra cost.

We've come to expect evolutionary designs from BMW, and the 3 Series will be no exception. Spy shots of an early prototype testing on the Nurburgring indicate the design and the overall proportions won't change drastically, though the new model will be a little bit longer and wider than its predecessor.

The next-generation BMW 3 Series is expected to debut next year, meaning it might not land in showrooms until the 2019 model year.