• The BMW M3 Touring Isn’t Coming Stateside Because It’s Bad for Business

You’d like an M3 Touring, and so would I, but BMW at least has a good reason for saying no.

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It was in mid-October when we laid eyes on the BMW M3 Touring as it did some hardcore testing on the Nürburgring.It was wearing that controversial big grille, an aggressive front fascia, and looking every bit the M3 Touring we always wanted. Then we learned that the M3 Touring won’t be coming to the United States. The reason behind it, strangely enough, has nothing to do with the lack of interest in wagons or the love for SUVS. In fact, it’s actually BMW making a good business decision.

The Audi RS4 Avant and Mercedes-AMG C63 Estate Continue to go Unanswered

The BMW M3 Touring Isn't Coming Stateside Because It's Bad for Business
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Despite the fact that Audi has the RS4 Avant and Mercedes offers the AMG C63 Estate, BMW has been largely absent in the midsize performance wagon segment here in America. The M3 Touring would have given BMW a hard competitor, but it’s not meant to be, and now we know why thanks to a report from BMW blog. A BMW USA spokesperson set the record straight, saying that “We revisited whether the car could be homologated for the U.S. market but unfortunately, it was found to be cost prohibitive.”

The BMW M3 Touring Isn't Coming Stateside Because It's Bad for Business
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How can it be that bringing a car like the M3 Touring would just be too expensive? Well, you can thank the U.S. government and its crash test regulations. Since BMW no longer offers Touring models here in the U.S – Seriously, there’s not a single one – the current 3 Series Touring, from which the M3 Touring will be based, wasn’t certified for U.S. crash test mandates. It would literally have to undergo homologation changes to make it suitable for America. I guess you could say it was partially BMW’s fault too, but we’ll leave that discussion for another time.

So, in the end, homologating a limited model in the U.S. isn’t cheap and doesn’t make sense from a business perspective. BMW would not only have to make changes to the vehicle, but it would also have to crash test several examples and modify them accordingly, so even if you signed the petition, BMW is most likely going to stand its ground.

The BMW M3 Touring Isn't Coming Stateside Because It's Bad for Business
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If the M3 Touring was coming to the United States, though, it would have been quite the beast. It would have had the same powertrain as the normal M3, so we’d be looking at a twin-turbo, 3.0-liter, six-cylinder with 473 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque. If we were to get an M3 Touring Competition, those figures would jump up to 503 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque. It’s doubtful that BMW would have given us the six-speed manual, however, it would have been cool to have the option. For the sake of comparison, the Audi RS4 Avant is good for 444 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque, while the C64 Estate is good for 503 horsepower and 516 pound-feet torque.

The BMW M3 Touring Isn't Coming Stateside Because It's Bad for Business
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But those two cars will go unanswered for yet another generation. 21 years ago, the E46 M3 Touring was supposed to happen and never did, and it looks like it may never happen – at least not for the United States, anyway. Unless, of course, BMW brings the i5 Touring to the U.S., which could potentially happen, so keep your fingers crossed for that.

Source: BMW Blog

Robert Moore
Robert Moore
Editor-in-Chief and Automotive Expert - robert@topspeed.com
Robert has been an auto enthusiast his entire life. He started working cars at a young age, learning the basics from his father in the home garage on the weekends. As time went on, Robert became more and more interested in cars and convinced his father to teach him how to drive when he was just 13 years old. Robert continued working on cars in his free time and learned as much as he could about engines, transmissions, and car electrical systems, something that only fed his curiosity more and eventually led him to earn a bachelors degree in automotive technology with a primary focus on engine performance and transmission rebuilding.  Read full bio
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