With less than a month left before the debut of the controversial new BMW M3 and M4, Munich has sprung an unexpected surprise in the teasing of an M3 Touring estate.
Revealed on its Instagram page late on Wednesday evening (12 August), the long awaited arrival of the Touring, an M3 first, will provide BMW with a rival for the Audi RS4 Avant and complete its newest array of M models that will consist out of the M3 sedan and the M4 coupe and cabriolet.
“In Garching near Munich, home of the BMW M GmbH, work is being carried out on a further dream-come-true: For the first time in the history of the BMW M GmbH, the model range will be complemented by a M3 Touring,” the automaker said in a statement.
“As the fourth model variant, the M3 Touring fulfils the hopes of all those who wish to take the M-specific interplay of racing-oriented performance and everyday suitability to the extreme. Never before has a premium mid-range class estate car offered so much driving fun and precision. Nor was there ever more functional utility available in a thoroughbred sports car”.
Although set to be the first M-badged performance estate since the E60 M5, the M3 Touring is still being developed and according to BMW, not yet approved for prototype testing on the open road. It therefore means that sales are unlikely to start next year with 2022 being projected as the year of unveiling.
Cheekily stating that “speculation on [the] engine and performance [are] quite welcome”, the Touring will be powered by the same S58 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged straight-six engine as the M3 and M4, more than likely the lesser unit rated at 353kW/600Nm. A Competition version using the 375 kW engine, for now, doesn’t appear likely.
While the conventional M3 and M4 will come with the option of a six-speed manual gearbox and rear-wheel-drive, it remains to be seen whether the Touring would feature the same configuration. Current speculation though is that it will only be offered with the eight-speed Steptronic ‘box and xDrive all-wheel-drive in order to better rival the RS4 Avant.