BMW says that the information leak about its next 3 Series has not dramatically affected its plans for the compact saloon’s rollout. Now that the cat’s out of the bag, we’ve compiled a gallery of the new Three and unearthed more details about the range.

BMW says that the information leak about its next 3 Series has not dramatically affected its plans for the compact saloon’s rollout. Now that the cat’s out of the bag, we’ve compiled a gallery of the new Three and unearthed more details about the range.

Detailed information about the new 3 Series, due for its international unveiling early in 2005, has been published on several international websites. The source was a leaked brochure containing detailed information about the range's engine lineup and specifications.


CARtoday.com has also been keeping tabs on the next Three’s development ever since one of our readers, Nic Retief, took pictures of disguised 1 Series, 3 Series and facelifted 7 Series models being tested outside Stellenbosch in March... View Pictures. In July, we also came across images of 3 Series prototypes being tested at an undisclosed location in Europe… Click here for more details. And now this…

"The finely tuned strategy to unveil the car has come tumbling down," a BMW source told .

The official publicity campaign for the next 3 Series was not meant to start until later this year and it has been speculated that the leak may have been orchestrated to overshadow a rival launch. One of BMW's main competitors in the medium saloon segment, Audi, is scheduled to officially unveil its next A4 at the Paris Motor Show.

But a spokesman for the Munich-based manufacturer Wieland Bruch denied this and added he did not expect the leak to negatively affect the current 3 Series' sales.

"It's lamentable that we have pictures floating about when the current model is still such a strong seller," Bruch said.

However, one report quoted a German BMW dealer as saying the average customer was not that knowledgeable and most buyers would not even be aware of the leak.

According to a German research agency, HypoVereinsbank, a properly executed model launch is pivotal, especially since the current 3 Series is expected to account for more than 30 per cent of BMW's sales in 2004.

The leaked presentation revealed interesting information about the next 3 Series including a second dashboard for the inclusion of BMW's iDrive system, not used in the current 3 Series.


To increase interior space, the new Three’s wheelbase, at 2 760 mm, is 35 mm longer compared with that of the current car. For improved stability, front and rear tracks are 1 500 mm and 1 513 mm wide, an increase of about 20 mm. At 4 520 mm long, the new E90 3 Series is 30 mm longer than the current model, 60 mm wider, but virtually the same height - at 1 424 mm.


Many 3 Series fans will be somewhat relieved that the exterior images show that the car has a simpler rear light design than had been expected (many artist’s impressions showed the Three with X3-type multifaceted clusters), as well as a front end with a strong resemblance to that of the 6 Series. The styling, albeit less dramatic than that of the 1 Series, features elements introduced throughout the range by BMW design chief Chris Bangle, such as the deep swages down the car's sides, and a short-front, long-tail profile.