Spied: The BMW M3 Touring that North America won’t get
In the midst of the controversy surrounding the design of the 2021 M3 and M4, a long-awaited enthusiast special is cruising toward reality: The first-ever M3 wagon. It’s officially called the M3 Touring, and we’ve just snagged the latest spy shots of this low-slung, fat-fendered beast. Sadly, it’s not part of BMW’s North American strategy, which means we’ll have to admire this high-powered longroof from afar.
Though the wagon’s performance stats will suffer slightly compared that of the M3 sedan and M4—blame the added weight—expect the M3 Touring to pack the same twin-turbo straight-six. In “base” trim, this engine makes 473 hp and sends all of that to the rear wheels; in Competition tune, a stonking 503 hp are sent to all four wheels.
The camouflaged wagon picture here packs the styling cues you’d expect from such a beefy estate: swollen fenders, two sets of wide-barrel double exhausts, a roof spoiler, dramatic side skirts, and additional front brake ducts. The spiderwebby wheels caught our eyes as well, not to mention the monster-sized rotors and yellow calipers lurking behind them.
Stare closely at the front fascia, and you’ll notice that—yes, tear your eyes from the grille for a second—the wagon doesn’t appear to share the metal mesh lower air intakes of its siblings. As that monstrous kidney schnoz makes plan, BMW designers are looking for any possible way to help that twin-turbo six breathe, and it appears that they ditched the mesh texture for a single-bladed opening. Of course, since this wagon is a camo’d prototype, we can’t be sure these change will make it to the final M3 Touring.
The wagon looks like it will also get the fussy fender vent just below the side-view mirror—it’s plastered over with squiggly plastic in these photos and seems to be purely decorative. The roof rails don’t look particularly functional either, but we’d guess that M3 Touring owners will happily splash some cash on a functional set after they take delivery.
Perhaps we’ll have to be satisfied with the new Audi RS 6 Avant and stalwart E 63 wagon to satiate our lust for burly longroofs. From what we can tell, though, the first-ever M3 wagon will be a most welcome addition to this elite club.