It needs to beat the AMG E63 S to be the fastest wagon.
Gearheads rejoice, for the BMW M3 Touring is nearly upon us. As we all know, there's nothing sexier than a high-performance wagon, even though 90% of the world (non-car folk) doesn't agree with us.
In preparation for the new model's introduction, BMW has been drip-feeding information about the first-ever M3 wagon, and we've learned a few things that make us jealous that it won't be coming to the USA. We've also seen development take a step up as the M3 Touring does the rounds at the Nurburgring, but it seems BMW has bigger Nurburgring plans than originally anticipated.
The latest press photographs are about as subtle as taking a sledgehammer to a walnut. It features a lightly camouflaged M3 Touring with a sticker on the side that says B'Ring It On. Next to that, is an outline of the Green Hell.
If that's not a statement of intent, we don't know what is. The current record is held by the Mercedes-AMG E63 S Wagon, which set a blistering 7:45.19 lap in 2017.
The G80 M3 on which the Touring will be based doesn't have an official Nurburgring time yet for us to reference, but the M4 Competition managed to pull off a 7:30.79 minute lap recently. If the M3 Touring - which will be heavier and not as rigid as the M4 coupe - can come even close to that, it'll be in with a good shot at beating the E63 Wagon.
BMW has stated that the M3 Touring will use the same six-cylinder turbo engine as the M3 and that it will be in Competition spec with AWD only. That means 503 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque sent out via an eight-speed automatic gearbox. As you'd expect, it will have five doors and a highly variable luggage compartment. BMW is essentially making the X3 M irrelevant.
What we find more appealing than anything else is the scarcity of M Touring models. BMW first teased the idea of an M3 Touring back in the E46 generation. It remains one of the best-looking wagons ever made, and the fact that BMW never came through is one of the saddest stories in automotive history.
The all-new M3 Touring has an impressive legacy to carry on. The first M Touring car was the 1992 BMW M5 Touring, powered by a naturally-aspirated 340 hp inline-six. The next model was the famous E61 M5 Touring and its bonkers 507 hp V10 engine.
Enthusiasts were so sick of waiting that they eventually built their wagon versions out of sedans. One 328i Wagon owner converted his pride and joy to a 625-hp monster, while another owner built a wagon based on the previous-generation M3 Competition that was later sent to the crusher.
The all-new M3 Touring doesn't need a Nurburgring record to help sales or drive demand, but unfortunately, despite a well-supported petition to bring the model stateside, the M3 Touring is not destined for US shores.