BMW has announced the return of the 318i badge to the 3 Series range, with the new entry-level version of the sedan already confirmed for South Africa.

Expected to hit local roads in the second quarter of 2020, the 318i will slot in below the 320i in the G20-generation range. While its F30-generation predecessor employed a 1,5-litre three-pot, the new version uses a turbocharged 2,0-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine offering the rear axle 115 kW and 250 N.m.

Interestingly, an eight-speed automatic transmission will ship standard, while the Munich-based firm claims a zero to 100 km/h sprint time of 8,4 seconds (and a top speed of 223 km/h). Claimed combined fuel consumption, meanwhile, comes in at 5,3 L/100 km.

The current local 3 Series range comprises the aforementioned 135 kW 320i, the 140 kW 320d, the 190 kW 330i, the 195 kW 330d and the 275 kW M340i xDrive.

In addition, BMW says it will enhance the list of standard features for the 7 Series and 8 Series (including adding an automatic soft-close door function for all variants), while also offering new interior options for the X5, X6 and X7.