Was it a deliberate leak or not?

Pictures of the next generation BMW 3-series have been circulating on marque enthusiasts' websites in Germany, and have subsequently reached magazines.

Officially, BMW says it's not worried about the leak of what was described as an early draft of a customer brochure. The company traditionally releases some technical details and a set of 'official' pictures some weeks ahead of the international press preview of a new model.

Cynics suspect that BMW is trying to deflect some of the interest in Audi's rival new A4, which makes its international press debut around Paris motor show time, but this has been denied.