Tony O'Kane | Jan 31, 2012

It's no secret that BMW has long been planning a smaller partner to the polarising 5 Series GT, and pre-production prototypes of a fastbacked 3 Series have been spotted driving around Germany since late last year.

Now, according to enthusiast website BMW Blog, an un-named source within BMW has confirmed that the 3 Series Gran Turismo is locked in for production, and will go on sale in Europe in March 2013.

The 3 Series GT is believed to boast the same amount of boot space as the regular 5 Series sedan, and more rear legroom. The dimensions of the recent prototype make us want to doubt the latter claim, however all should be revealed later this year at the car's global debut.

Little is known about what will power the 3 Series GT, but we can expect the range of four and six-cylinder petrol and diesel engines of the F30 3 Series (which launches here this month) to feature in the Gran Turismo.

The 3 Series GT won't be the last BMW to wear a Gran Turismo badge on its rump either.

Sometime in late 2013 or early 2014 BMW is expected to launch the 1 Series Gran Turismo, a front-wheel drive partner to the F20 1 Series hatch that puts a greater emphasis on interior space and utility.

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