We’ll soon see the introduction of the sixth generation of BMW M3. And yet, after 34 years, there’s never been an M3 wagon.
Update, 8:00am 13/08/20: BMW has confirmed the M3 wagon is go on Instagram. We’ve added the post to this story, and pulled it forward to the website homepage.
That may soon change.
Citing a confidential source, BMW Blog reports BMW will introduce an M3 Touring as part of the sixth-generation M3 range. It’s expected to arrive after 2023.
It’s not yet clear whether the M3 Touring will offer a choice of both rear- and all-wheel drive, as the upcoming sixth-generation M3 sedan will do for the first time in the nameplate’s history.
The M3 sedan will also offer a choice of a twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre inline six in two different tunes: a 353kW version for the regular M3 and a 375kW version for the M3 Competition.
The defunct fifth-generation M3’s twin-turbo 3.0-litre inline-six produced 331kW of power and 550Nm of torque, bumped up to 338kW of power and 600Nm of torque in the M3 CS.
The new M3 will swap out its seven-speed dual-clutch automatic for an eight-speed torque-converter automatic from the M5, while a six-speed manual transmission will still be available.
Could the M3 Touring offer a rear-wheel drive, manual version? Stop, we can only get so excited.
BMW’s reluctance to develop a long-roof M3 has long proved puzzling, especially considering it’s applied the M name to tuned versions of the X3, X4, X5 and X6 SUVs.
Rival Audi has a rich heritage in high-performance wagons. Its very first RS-branded car was the RS 2 Avant, which was succeeded by the first-generation RS4 that was also offered only as a wagon. Though it offered a sedan in its second generation, the RS4 reverted back to offering only a wagon in subsequent generations.
Likewise, Mercedes-Benz has always offered a wagon version of its hottest, AMG-fettled C-Class models.
BMW has considered an M3 Touring in the past, even going so far as to develop a feasibility prototype of the E46 M3 back in 2000. It’s always demurred, leaving tuning firms like Alpina to pick up the slack.
Alpina offered its B3 S wagon here from 2016 until 2018. Based on the previous generation of 3 Series, it packed a twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre inline six-cylinder engine producing 301kW of power and 600Nm of torque.
The latest generation Alpina B3 once again offers the option of a wagon. It again packs a 3.0TT inline six, this time with an M3-challenging 340kW of power and 700Nm of torque.
The only transmission is an eight-speed torque-converter automatic, while all-wheel drive is mandatory. It’s priced at $145,900 before on-road costs.