It’s the enthusiast’s fever dream made real – the unobtanium of the automotive world, a Touring version of the BMW M3, will finally exist this year. It’s such a big deal that even BMW couldn’t resist showing the entire rear end of the performance wagon in a new video.
The veil-lifting occurs at the five minute and 13 second mark and the car looks exactly as you imagine it, with the M3 sedan’s fat rear arches, vertical reflectors, massive diffuser and quad tailpipes grafted onto a G21 3 Series Touring body.
A small Gurney flap has also been added to the rear spoiler – on the prototype, it’s 3D-printed and painted black, but you can expect the production version to be injection-moulded and offered in a carbon fibre variant, just like the four-door. No view of the front end, but the Touring will get the M3/M4’s divisive front end – replete with the full-height kidney grilles – as development prototypes have shown.
Also set to be carried over is the S58 3.0 litre twin-turbocharged straight-six and bespoke drivetrain. It was previously reported that the Touring will only be available in Competition M xDrive form with outputs of 510 PS and 650 Nm, along with an eight-speed automatic gearbox and all-wheel drive. So, not the manual, rear-wheel-drive wagon that purists will be hoping for then.
This appears to be borne out in BMW’s legally-required fuel consumption and emissions declaration in the video’s description. Just one model was declared, coming with a combined fuel economy figure of 10.3 litres per 100 km and carbon dioxide emissions of 235 grams per 100 km on the WLTP cycle.
Given that this is close to the M3 sedan in Competition M xDrive form – which does 10.2 litres per 100 km and 232 grams per kilometre respectively – we can expect its mechanical makeup to be similar, with the increases attributable to the Touring’s expected heavier body.
Aside from the new M3 Touring, the video – part of a series on the new wagon – also gives us a great look at the one-off based on the E46 M3. The handsome longroof was built in 2001 as a proof of concept and again has all the trappings of the coupé, such as the bonnet bulge, large front air intakes, fake fender vents (made possible by trimming the two-door’s longer fenders), rounded door mirrors and flared wheel arches.
The entire powertrain was also transplanted into the Touring – in this case, the sonorous, naturally-aspirated S54 3.2 litre straight-six, sending 343 PS and 365 Nm to the rear wheels via an honest-to-goodness six-speed manual gearbox and M limited-slip rear differential.
The astronomical cost of adapting the coupé’s parts to the wagon body meant that the E46 version never entered production. However, the new G81 model has been designed into the latest M3 and M4 generation from the start, enabling it to become a reality.
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