The first-ever BMW M3 Touring has made its long-awaited world debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, combining supercar levels of straight-line pace with the familiar comfort and utility of the 3 Series.
Arriving as part of the ongoing celebrations for M division’s 50th anniversary, it is the latest addition to the M3/M4 family and follows hot on the heels of the strippedout, track-focused BMW M4 CSL revealed last month.
This is the first time that BMW has applied the full-fat M treatment to the 3 Series estate in seven generations – although it did build a one-off Touring version of the E46-gen M3 in 2000 (but kept it under wraps until 2016).
The new arrival will go on sale in September, ahead of production beginning in November. It will be available exclusively in range-topping Competition xDrive form, taking 503bhp and 479lb ft from BMW M’s S58 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged straight six and sending it through an eight-speed automatic gearbox and Active M differential to both axles.
That makes for a 0-62mph time of just 3.6sec and a top speed of up to 174mph with the optional M Driver’s package – figures that just surpass the outgoing Mercedes-AMG C63 S estate and are sure to make the M3 Touring a fierce rival for that car’s plug-in hybrid replacement, which is due in 2023 (although not yet confirmed as an estate).
It is also only slightly slower off the mark than the four-wheel-drive M3 Competition Saloon, despite the added weight of its extended bodywork, which, says BMW, endows the Touring with “variability and generosity in terms of transport capacities for eventful everyday mobility and fast-paced travel activities”.