BMW build only two M wagons in the past, but developed a couple of prototypes as well

BMW recently confirmed that it’s working on a wagon version of the M3. And that’s big news because BMW never offered an M3 Touring model since the nameplate was introduced back in the 1980s. The German company did sell station wagon versions of the M5, but these were restricted to a couple of generations and sold for a very short time. Here’s the shortlist of the only high-performance wagons that BMW has built in recent decades.

Production models

BMW M5 Touring E34 (1992-1995)

BMW is Finally Building an M3 Wagon, So Here's a Look at the Company's Previous Hot Grocery Getters
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BMW launched its first M-badged wagon, the M5 Touring, in 1992. It was based on the E34-generation M5, introduced in 1988. The M5 was launched with a 3.6-liter inline-six engine rated at 311 horsepower, but when the wagon arrived, BMW replaced the mill with a larger, more powerful 3.8-liter. This engine generated 335 horsepower, but it wasn’t offered in the U.S. due to emission laws. This mill made the M5 Touring the fastest station wagon of its time. The grocery getter needed only 5.7 seconds to hit 60 mph from a standing start, toward a top speed limited to 155 mph. A manual transmission was the only gearbox available. Not only was it the company’s first M wagon but the E34 M5 Touring was also the last hand-built M car. Built in only 891 units and not offered in the United States, the first M5 Touring on one of the rarest Bimmers from the 1990s.

BMW M5 Touring E61 (2005-2010)

BMW is Finally Building an M3 Wagon, So Here's a Look at the Company's Previous Hot Grocery Getters
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It took BMW 10 whole years to revive the M5 Touring.

Having skipped the E39 generation, the M5 wagon returned in 2005, based on the E60 M5 sedan.

This time around, BMW had upgraded the M5 to a massive 5.0-liter V-10 engine, so this M5 Touring is also BMW’s only wagon to feature such a mill. The V-10 was rated at 500 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque and enabled the M5 Touring to hit 60 mph in only 4.3 seconds. Its top speed was limited to 155 mph. Unlike its predecessor, this M5 Touring came with a seven-speed automatic. The wagon was not exported into the U.S., and Euro-spec production was limited to only 1,025 units. The E61 M5 Touring was the last M-badged wagon until BMW announced the M3 Touring for 2022.

Read our full review on the BMW M5 Touring E61

Prototypes

BMW M3 Touring E46 (2000)

BMW is Finally Building an M3 Wagon, So Here's a Look at the Company's Previous Hot Grocery Getters
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Although BMW will offer its first-ever M3 Touring in 2022, it actually considered a hot station wagon back in 2000. That's when the German company introduced the E46-generation M3 and then built a wagon prototype to evaluate the feasibility of a production model.

However, BMW decided that an M3 Touring didn’t make much financial sense and axed the project. The E46 M3 featured a 3.2-liter inline-six engine rated at 338 horsepower, and it was capable of 0-to-60 mph sprints of five seconds, so this wagon would have been the quickest and most powerful in its niche.

BMW M5 Touring E39 (1998)

BMW is Finally Building an M3 Wagon, So Here's a Look at the Company's Previous Hot Grocery Getters
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The M5 E39 was produced from 1998 to 2003, bridging the gap between the E34 and E60 models. This generation didn’t include a station wagon, but BMW considered one and built at least a prototype. There is proof of a Titanium Silver version built for testing and evaluation, but BMW decided that Touring successor for the E34 didn’t make financial sense for the company. The project was scrapped, and BMW waited another seven years to offer a production model. Should BMW had produced the E39-generation M5 Touring, it would have featured a 4.9-liter V-8 engine rated at 394 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque.

Upcoming

BMW M3 Touring G31 (2022)

BMW is Finally Building an M3 Wagon, So Here's a Look at the Company's Previous Hot Grocery Getters
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The first-ever production M3 Touring model was confirmed by BMW in 2020 and will arrive in 2022. It’s based on the G20-generation M3 that will be unveiled by the end of 2020 and will share most of its design and all underpinnings with the sedan. The hot wagon will be powered by a twin-turbo, 3.0-liter inline-six engine that will deliver 473 horsepower. If BMW will also offer a Competition model, it will hit the streets with a solid 503 horsepower.

Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert - ciprian@topspeed.com
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read More
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