This is the first time BMW has given the full-fat M treatment to the 3 Series estate in seven generations.
BMW has unveiled its first-ever M3 Touring globally. The estate version of the M3, which will be showcased at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this week, gets a 510hp, 3.0-litre engine that combines sportscar levels of straight-line pace with the comfort and utility of the 3 Series.
- BMW M3 Touring comes only in range-topping Competition xDrive variant
- Does 0-100kph in 3.6secs, with a 278kph top speed
- Has near 50:50 weight distribution despite added weight
BMW M3 Touring: first of its kind
Arriving as part of the ongoing celebrations for M division’s 50th anniversary, it is the latest addition to the M3/M4 family and follows hot on the heels of the stripped out, track-focused BMW M4 CSL revealed last month.
This is the first time that BMW has applied the full-fat M treatment to the 3 Series estate in seven generations – although it did build a one-off Touring version of the E46-gen M3 in 2000, and kept it under wraps until 2016.
BMW M3 Touring: powertrain, chassis
The new arrival will go on sale in September, ahead of production beginning in November. It will be available exclusively in the range-topping Competition xDrive variant, and makes 510hp, 650Nm from BMW’s B58 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged straight six engine. The power is sent to both axles through an eight-speed automatic gearbox and Active M differential.
That makes for a 0-100kph time of just 3.6secs and a top speed of up to 278kph with the optional M Driver’s package. These figures surpass the outgoing Mercedes-AMG C 63 S estate and are sure to make the M3 Touring a fierce rival for that car’s plug-in hybrid replacement, which is due in 2023, although an estate is not yet confirmed.
The BMW M3 Touring is also only slightly slower off the mark than the four-wheel-drive M3 Competition Saloon, despite the added weight of its extended bodywork.
In addition, because it has nearly 50:50 weight distribution and a suspension and steering set-up that have been tweaked for the new body, BMW says it offers “the agility, dynamics and handling precision characteristic of BMW M automobiles”.
BMW M3 Touring: exterior, interior
Aside from the extended roofline and upright rear end, the M3 Touring is nearly identical to the saloon. It swaps the standard 3 Series’ wide snouts for the M car’s larger vertical items, and adds chunky flared wheel arches, bespoke bumpers and side skirts, a beefy quad-exit sports exhaust, 19-inch front and 20-inch rear M Sport wheels , and a bespoke rear spoiler.
Inside, it’s a closer match to the standard 3 Series Touring, with a familiar cabin set-up dominated by a new 14.9-inch infotainment screen running BMW’s latest, eighth-generation iDrive operating system and a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster. As with the M3 Saloon, subtle nods to its performance billing – red driving mode selectors on the steering wheel and M-themed upholstery – can be bumped up with the addition of carbon fiber trim elements and full-carbon bucket front seats.
It will be among the final non-electrified additions to the full-bore M line-up, alongside the upcoming BMW M2 Coupe – which uses a variation of the same powertrain – and will be revealed later this year. The brand’s first PHEV, the XM The super-SUV, also lands later this year, and the next-generation BMW M5 is widely tipped to use that car’s hybridised 4.4-litre, twin-turbocharged V8.
BMW in India
BMW India launched the M4 Competition sedan in the country a few months back, followed by the i4 electric sedan last month. This made the i4 the third electric car in its line-up, after the iX SUV and Mini Cooper SE, BMW also recently rolled out its 1,00,000th made-in-India car.