These pictures are as close as you'll come to this tasty piece of forbidden fruit.
BMW has demonstrated a knack for proliferating variants across its lineup. The latest 3 Series alone is offered in the United States in three engine specs, with that many more versions of the closely related 4 Series in three body styles. What we have here is the latest, but sadly it's not likely to reach these shores.
It's the new 3 Series Touring – Bimmer-speak for "wagon.” And as you might expect, it shares much with the sedan we already know, but with added cargo capacity under its extended roofline.
Just how much cargo capacity, you ask? 500 liters (or 17.6 cubic feet) with the rear seats in place, or up to 1,510 liters (53.3 cubic feet) with the 40:20:40 split rear seats folded flat. That's 5 liters (0.17 cubic feet) and (1.1 cubic feet) more than the previous model. And it's easier to load, too, thanks to a wider and taller tailgate aperture, and a lower load floor. The tailgate and rear seatback are both power-operated, with a hands-free option for the former. And the rear window can be opened separately for quick access, too.
From the C-pillar forward, it's essentially the same as the four-door version. It'll be offered with three gasoline engines and another three diesels, ranging all the way up to the M340i xDrive Touring – the flagship of the range, with 374 horsepower on tap to make us forget all about the prospect of driving a taller crossover, and certifiably jealous of those that can get their hands on one.
The 3 Series Touring will be unveiled in the metal for the first time later this month at the BMW Group #NEXTGen event at the company's headquarters in Munich.
After that, customers in Europe, the Far East, and Down Under can start expecting delivery towards the end of September.
Since introducing the first 3 Series Touring 32 years ago, BMW has made over 1.7 million such wagons. The last iteration alone accounted for half a million of those, and we don't doubt the new one will prove just as hot a seller for the Bavarian automaker. If only we could get it here in America, especially now that the oddball Gran Turismo we did get is being discontinued.