The BMW M3 Touring Could be the Best M Car Ever Built - story fullscreen Fullscreen

The BMW M3 Touring Could be the Best M Car Ever Built

A hot wagon is always the stuff of dreams for car enthusiasts, and the M3 Touring could be the hottest car of the decade

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When BMW M announced back in 2020 that they were building an M3 Touring, the excitement surrounding the car was indeed very high. After all, it’s BMW M’s first wagon in more than a decade. The last high-performance wagon to ever come out of BMW M was the M5 Touring (E61), which was last produced in 2010, and this will also be the first time that an M3 Touring will be ever produced. Australian automotive website CarExpert managed to have an intimate chat with the folks at BMW M who led the development of the highly-anticipated wagon.

Wagons have always been popular in Europe, but not much elsewhere. Especially in the face of SUVs, wagons have declined in popularity outside the European continent. The head of BMW M Prototyping, Hans Rahn, created a one-off M3 Touring Concept that you see here, which is painted in Frozen Dark Silver (basically their marketing term for matte silver).

The BMW M3 Touring Could be the Best M Car Ever Built
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The prototype apparently won the hearts of the BMW board, with production and sales commencing just a few months from now. As a matter of fact, the BMW M3 Touring will finally make its debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this June 23, which means we don’t have to wait much longer to see BMW M’s first wagon in more than a decade.

Now, regarding the declining popularity of wagons, BMW M CEO, Frank van Meel, who spoke to CarExpert in Italy, says that demand for the M3 Touring is surprisingly quite high. BMW M, as a matter of fact, is confident in the success of the M3 Touring, and it’s one of the reasons why the model was green-lit for production.

"Of course, it depends on how it develops, but normally we don’t do ‘one-offs’, and we think this car is going to be a huge success, as we are already seeing a huge demand. If that is the case, then it makes sense to keep on with its development.”
The BMW M3 Touring Could be the Best M Car Ever Built
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Of course, convincing the bosses from Munich wasn’t easy for them. After all, wagons are only popular in Europe, but in the end, the M3 Touring is finally seeing the light of day thanks to the clamor for such a vehicle globally.

"The biggest challenge is that a Touring concept is first and foremost a European concept – it’s not a world car like the M3 [sedan] itself or the M4, it’s more or less a European concept, so you are focused very strongly on one market, which limits your production numbers. However, the pull from all our major markets was so strong, with everyone desperate for the M3 Touring, so we said, ‘okay we’ll do it’".
The BMW M3 Touring Could be the Best M Car Ever Built
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The First-Ever M3 Touring
This will be the first time that we’re seeing a BMW M3 Touring be put into series production, and it’s the first wagon from BMW M in more than a decade

Now that the BMW M3 Touring has been green-lit for production, the challenge now is how do you make a heavier wagon perform just like the M3 sedan? Dirk Hacker, who is in charge of development at BMW M, says that this was a very difficult task.

"When we started this project, we said to the chassis engineers we wanted the M3 Touring to feel like an M3 behind the wheel, even if it’s fully laden with passengers and luggage."
The BMW M3 Touring Could be the Best M Car Ever Built
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Basically, the BMW M engineers left no stone unturned when developing the M3 Touring. The team started by removing the front end of a standard 3 Series Touring and then replacing it with all of the stuff found in the M3 sedan, namely the S58 twin-turbo straight-six engine, M xDrive AWD system, the same tires used by the M3, the optional M Ceramic Brakes, and even the sedan’s 285-mm wide rear tires.

The BMW M3 Touring Could be the Best M Car Ever Built
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Swipe up to know more about the development story of the BMW M3 Touring

To top it all off, the M3 Touring gets completely new springs, dampers, anti-roll bars, and even a completely bespoke roof spoiler, which gives the M3 Touring a significant amount of downforce.

Klaus Uber, the man in charge of driving dynamics for all M cars, says that all of these upgrades have made the M3 Touring just as good as the sedan in terms of handling.

"We have left no stone unturned on this car. That’s the adaptive damping, steering, DSC, ABC, etc, in order to achieve the goal, we set for the M3 Touring from the very outset of the project – to make it drive the same as the M3 [sedan]."
The BMW M3 Touring Could be the Best M Car Ever Built
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With less than a month away from the world debut of the BMW M3 Touring, we’re sure to know more details about the first-ever high-performance wagon from BMW M since the E61 M5 Touring. This isn’t the first time that an M3 Touring has been considered for development, because back in 2000, a one-off (E46) M3 Touring was actually conceived, but was never put into production.

Source: CarExpert

Isaac Atienza
Isaac Atienza
Isaac Atienza is a Filipino motoring journalist who joined in 2021. He is a car enthusiast who especially thinks that wagons are the best type of vehicle, though sports cars and anything with three pedals also tickles his fancy.  Read full bio
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