BMW has confirmed that it will launch an M3 Touring, creating an estate version of its famous hot saloon for the first time.
The M3 saloon and M4 coupe are due to be fully unveiled next month but before that BMW released its first teaser image of the new M3 Touring.
The M3 Touring will go head-to-head with the Audi RS4 Avant, the first time BMW has had a direct challenger for the famous performance estate from Inglostadt.
A previous concept M3 Touring was shown to the public in 2000 to prove you could have a more practical M3 but it never became a production reality. Now, BMW says “In the sixth generation of the BMW M3, it will not end with mere theoretical considerations and product-technical test series.
“As the fourth model variant, the BMW M3 Touring fulfils the hopes of all those who wish to take the M-specific interplay of racing-oriented performance and everyday suitability to the extreme. Never before has a premium mid-range class estate car offered so much driving fun and precision. Nor was there ever more functional utility available in a thoroughbred sports car.”
Exact details of the drivetrain haven’t been given but BMW says the M3 Touring will use a twin-turbo six-cylinder engine and it’s fair to assume this will be exactly the same 500bhp 3.0-litre straight-six from the M3 saloon, M4 coupe and M4 convertible.
According to BMW: “Further speculation on engine and performance is quite welcome. But wide axles, conspicuously large front air intakes and four exhaust tailpipes at the rear leave no doubt that the iconic M DNA will be fully perceptible despite the car’s new body design.”
The car is in the early stages of a two-year development process, meaning it’s likely to reach showrooms some time in 2022. On-road testing will begin near the BMW M Division’s Garching base before it inevitably heads to the Nurburgring for on-track proving.
BMW has previously produced two M estates, based on the mid-1990s second-generation M5 saloon and the fourth generation M5 from 2006.
This article first appeared on The Scotsman