The 4th iteration of BMW’s volume-selling 3 series, internally named E 46, was presented in 1998. As was customary, the sedan came first, followed by other body styles with a short delay. Coupe, convertible and station wagon all came in 1999, whereas the Compact (hatchback) was only introduced in 2001. The E 46 of course offered upgraded versions of the popular 4- and 6-cylinder petrol engines. It was also the first BMW to feature a direct-injection Diesel engine. Entry-level performance was 77 kW (105 hp), while the top of the range was marked by the M3, which boasted 252 kW (343 hp) from 3.3 litres of capacity. Passenger safety was improved by a more rigid body shell as well as the introduction of 6 airbags, traction control and – as of 2001 – vehicle dynamics control as standard. In Motorsports, the E 46 was also successful, winning several Championships between 2003 and 2008. The E 46 became the best-selling 3 series so far, with 3,266,885 units sold, which equates to a 19 % increase in volume over the E 36 predecessor.