I've been following the news on F31 very closely, since this has been my first preference to replace the E39 Touring I drive now, and it looks like I and many other E39 owners will not be disappointed. I know many of us care about the cargo capacity, and if the press release doesn't play any games with calculating it, we're going to be satisfied.
Specifically, E39 Touring has 1510l cargo capacity with rear seats down; F31 has 1500l. A4 Avant/Allroad (the only viable alternative) has 1430l. E39 is about 20cm longer, but 10cm of that is in front of the front axle and therefore don't matter. Wheelbase is ~2cm more in E39; rear overhang is about 8cm more - looks like F31 uses interior space more efficiently.
For reference: http://www.the-blueprints.com/bluepr...touring_(e39)/
I'm not going to discuss the differences in dynamics, because they're obvious: F31 has 200lbs less and 60hp more (328iT) - can there be any question to whether or not it'll drive better?
And the last comparison I wanted to make is pricing. My moderately well equipped 525iT came with $45K MSRP in 2002. Next year, we'll be able to buy 328iT with a better engine, more standard features, same or better level of comfort for the passengers, same utility, better optional tech for the same amount in 2013 dollars (this is what, a 20% discount accounting for inflation?) - what's not to be happy about?