This Is Your First Official Look At The Upcoming BMW M3 Touring Wagon
After being spotted multiple times in camouflage, BMW has now officially revealed a part of the wagon in this videoby Sidd Dhimaan, on
BMW kick-started 2022 by announcing that the BMW M3 Touring is finally being realized. More than two decades after it was revealed as a concept, BMW is back on the wagon (pun intended) to create a production version. Although it has been spotted quite a few times in the past, we hadn’t seen it without the camouflage yet. Even the teaser that BMW released didn’t show it without the skin. But, the latest video from the German automaker has finally given us a glimpse of its bare back, and we got to say, it is sexy!
BMW Has Officially Given Us A Glimpse Of The 2023 BMW M3 Touring!
The video is all about the BMW M3 Touring. The automaker probably knows how much people loved the E46 M3 wagon concept that was showcased back in 2000 and decided to string our hearts with this video titled – “WE ARE M - THE M3 Touring - How It All Began.” The video is essentially a documentary of sorts that will run us through how the M3 Touring came to be, why it didn’t make it to production back then, and what the future holds for it now. It will be split into different episodes, with at least one more confirmed for now.
The video kicks off with Hans Rahn, the gentleman responsible for prototype construction and rapid prototyping, driving the one and only E46 M3 Touring prototype to the BMW M facility and parking it next to the E46 M3. He does a walk around explaining the minute details about the car. Rahn says that a lot of elements from the E46 M3 coupe were carried over to the M3 Touring. There’s the power dome on the hood, the gills on the sides, etc.
Why Wasn’t The BMW M3 Touring Ever Produced?
Despite a perfect plan and concept in place, BMW never pulled the trigger with the M3 Touring. Hans Rahn said that this was because of the production challenges. Even though, in theory, it seems like a wagon version of an existing car, it wasn’t as easy in reality. For instance, the gills on the sides were an E46-exclusive element and became a challenge for the team because the Touring had a short front side panel whereas the coupe had longer panels. But, the company didn’t want to dilute such things, which meant it had to cut the side panels and make a new assembly.
The doors had to be for a wagon body style, but to accommodate that with the M3’s wide axle meant they had to stretch out the wheel housing. After they designed the flared wheel arches, the team also had to face the challenge of matching the rear bumper casing with the wheel arch. All these changes would lead to tweaking a lot of things, including the chassis construction. It was because of such complexities that BMW decided to put the E46 Touring on the back burner at that time. But, two decades later, they are back at it.
What’s The Plan For The 2023 BMW M3 Touring?
We were then introduced to Dirk Hacker, the person responsible for development at BMW M. He talks about how the management couldn’t say no to it entering production this time around. Dirk, along with Hans, take us to another prototype that’s covered under a tarp. This is the upcoming M3 Touring. To our surprise, they lift the tarp and show us the M3 Touring’s rear fascia without any skin or camouflage! And, just like that, we had our first official view of the new M3 Touring!
The M3 Touring’s rear looks very smart.
It carries over the M3’s taillights and features an aggressive diffuser at the bottom. The vertical slotted reflectors on either side are also similar to the M3 coupe. They note that the roof-edge spoiler is created using the 3D-printing technique.
Have We Seen The New BMW M3 Touring Before?
On January 1st, the automaker officially announced the M3 Touring on its Instagram page, via a teaser, thus confirming that it hasn’t forgotten about the performance wagon. The teaser itself was pretty interesting. It was seen drifting in the snow to create a ‘2022’ mark, indicating that the wagon will be launched this year.
Apart from this, it has been spied many times in the past. The prototype production is believed to have begun in 2019, and we spotted it for the first time in the new avatar in 2020. But, it again disappeared into oblivion, only to resurface a year later in October 2021. After it was officially announced, we saw it a lot more often, once even up close and personal. The last we spotted it was earlier this month, and we noticed it didn’t have the massive kidney grille on its face. So, that’s some more good news for most of us.
What Do We Know About The BMW M3 Touring So Far?
The M3 Touring will be anything but subtle, and that’s for sure. Apart from the front and the rear fascia that we’ve already touched upon, the BMW M3 Touring will have lots of cuts and creases all around. The prototypes spotted testing were riding on sweet 20- or 21-inch wheels shod in low-profile tires. Expect it to be equipped with side skirts and winglets at the front and back.
Since it is based on the M3 coupe, we expect it to come with the M3’s engine and transmission as well. This means we could see a 3.0-liter, twin-turbo six-cylinder engine under the hood that puts out 473 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of twist. It will be mated to a six-speed manual gearbox that powers the rear wheels exclusively. BMW could offer a little more power to offset the extra weight of the wagon body. But, otherwise, we don’t think there will be any major power boost. We are optimistic in the first place because BMW has been taking some bold decisions when it comes to the M3, like ditching the dual-clutch gearbox, foregoing the ‘rear-drive-only’ mentality, and reviving a program that was perhaps dead and buried 20 years. So, can we expect the unexpected?
It’s also a no-brainer that an M3 Touring Competition will be offered. In the M3 Coupe, it makes 503 ponies and 479 pound-feet of twist from the same engine. This will come at the loss of the third pedal as you will get an eight-speed automatic transmission here instead, with an option to channel the oomph to all four wheels. We would hope the M3 Touring Competition gets a little more power so it becomes the most powerful offering amongst its rivals.
For the sake of comparison, the Audi RS4 Avant churns out 444 ponies and 443 pound-feet of twist, whereas the Mercedes-AMG C63 Estate pumps 503 horses and 516 pound-feet torque.
BMW was the only automaker of the ‘Three Germans’ to not have a performance wagon in its arsenal. It took way longer to come than it should have, but we’re glad BMW finally took the plunge to put it to production. Dirk and Hans also noted that the day the M3 Touring was approved, even the M4 GT3 race car was approved; and, that’s also in production now.
But, before my fellow Americans get their hopes up, the BMW M3 Touring will not be coming to the U.S. A petition was filed to try to change the minds of the corporate execs sitting in Munich, but they will most likely turn a deaf ear to it; or put an exorbitant price tag on it and bring it here. It’s mostly going to be the former, but let’s see. Perhaps, BMW will change its mind as Ford did with the Ranger Raptor.
Anyway, coming back to the topic at hand, the first episode came to a close with the derriere reveal, but there’s another in the pipeline that will talk about the construction of the car. Watch the video below and let us know your thoughts about the BMW M3 Touring.