Few performance cars are as beloved as BMW’s iconic M3.
First brought into this world with the E30 3 Series in 1986, the M3 has been the benchmark for compact performance cars. If BMW are all about ‘the ultimate driving machine’, the M3 is the purest expression of that philosophy: manic, exciting, capable, yet with an underlying practicality. Take it to the track, and then take it to work the next day.
Something else that BMW is loved for is its fast station wagons. But while you’ve certainly been able to get some very hot 3 Series wagons, BMW have never offered an M3 Touring (BMW’s designation for wagons), saving that prized designation only for sedans and coupes (note: BMW split the sedan and coupe variants into two different model lines in 2014, with the sedan remaining the M3 and the coupe now known as the M4).
Until now, that is. When BMW unveiled their latest M3 / M4 pair last year, they had all but confirmed that an M3 Touring was also on the way. BMW M also shared some glimpses of a prototype being tested outside their factory last August, but until now, we haven’t had a good look at what the car can actually do. But Christmas has come early for Beamer fans.
Footage and images have emerged of the M3 Touring being tested at the famous Nürburgring last week, and not only does it seem pretty bloody nippy, but it sounds amazing, too. Naughty boy! BMW M also confirmed the Nürburgring test with an Instagram post just hours ago, sharing some clearer shots of the handsome-looking beast.
While the car is still heavily camoflagued, the photos and footage have allowed a rather clear look at the car’s overall aesthetics. Its rear end is particularly well-executed: angular and lithe with a small rear spoiler, the car looks very well-proportioned. Sadly for some, the car still seems to be sporting the controversial, ‘nasal’ grille design of the new M3 / M4 – but we don’t think that’s a dealbreaker.
What isn’t clear just yet is what specifications you’ll be able to mix and match with the M3 Touring package. Currently, there’s three spec levels within the M3 range: the ‘base’ M3, the M3 Competition, and the M3 Competition xDrive, the latter of which features all-wheel drive. There’s no news yet whether you’ll be able to get an M3 Touring in Competition or Competition xDrive spec, both of which boost the M3 from 353kW to 375kW. All spec levels are powered by the 3.0L S58 twin-turbocharged inline-six that first appeared in the G01 X3 M.
The other question mark is whether you’ll be able to get a manual M3 Touring. Currently, the ‘base’ M3 (and M4) are available with a six-speed manual transmission, but the higher ‘Competition’ trims are only available with an eight-speed M Steptronic transmission. There’s no reason to assume things will be any different with the M3 Touring… It’s still a shame that you can’t get the hottest spec with a manual for the regular M3 / M4, though.
More to come.