WOODCLIFF LAKE, NJ – BMW released its first images and details on the next generation of its 3 Series Sports Wagon for the U.S. marketplace. The automaker said this vehicle is set to arrive in U.S. showrooms in the spring of 2013.

BMW plans to offer this new vehicle in three versions: the Sport Line, Luxury Line, and Modern Line. The company also plans to offer an M Sport Line for this vehicle. The automaker hasn’t yet released any powertrain details about this vehicle and instead focused on its basic dimensions, appearance, and some amenities in this announcement.

The 3 Series Sport Wagon is bigger than the previous version of this vehicle, with a wider track, larger wheelbase, and slightly longer body. BMW said these changes give the vehicle more space inside, with extra room for rear-seat passengers. Headlight options include LED accent lights above four round headlights with corona rings (if a buyer specifies Adaptive Xenon headlights). The automaker also plans to offer a full, glass panoramic sunroof for this vehicle.

The Sports Wagon features BMW’s “Air Curtain” technology up front. Small vertical intakes help improve air flow around the front wheels, which the automaker said makes the vehicle more aerodynamically efficient and reduces fuel consumption at high speeds.

With this new vehicle being a wagon, BMW focused on making the tailgate easy to operate. The vehicle offers a power tailgate and an optional Hands Free Opening Tailgate as part of the Comfort Access Package. Similar to the liftgate on the new 2013-MY Ford Escape, if you place your foot under the rear bumper, the tailgate will automatically open.

The tailgate also features a rear window that opens separately. A user can unlock the window via a button on the rear window wiper arm and open it by hand. BMW said this feature makes it easier for drivers and passengers to load and unload smaller items when space is tight (the window opens up rather than out).

The automaker also provided a range of cargo options for its 3 Series Sports Wagon. It offers a net and additional strap on the right panel for securing cargo. BMW added that a net along the left-hand-side panel will be available. There is also a standard separate partition net. The company integrated four tie-downs into the cargo area’s floor. There is a pair of coat hooks and an additional 12-volt outlet in the back, too. There is a storage tray under the load compartment’s floor and another “deep stowage” compartment on the left side of the cargo area.

Drivers and passengers can stow away the luggage compartment cover into the load compartment’s floor. The rear seats fold down in three sections in a 40:20:40 split. The vehicle also features roof rails to accommodate storage racks and similar items.

The 3 Series Sports Wagon features a combination of driver assistance technologies and connectivity options, which are integrated into the BMW ConnectedDrive system. The vehicle is available with a full-color HUD that can project information (such as navigation instructions and safety alerts) onto the windshield. Camera technology enables the vehicle’s Active Safety options, including Lane Departure Warning and Blind Spot Detection systems.

The Sports Wagon offers an available rear-view camera, which can provide a top-down view of the vehicle and its surroundings. The vehicle offers BMW Parking Assistant, which automates parallel parking for the driver. If also features BMW Assist, which provides a phone-based information service, an Automatic Collision Notification feature, and Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity. The system also allows the integration of an iPhone and other smartphones, and enables the use of Internet services.

BMW said it plans to release powertrain details and specifics on standard and optional features at a later date.