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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

Wait no more: First ever BMW M3 Touring officially out

Munich's first practical M model since the E60 M5 Touring will, sadly, not be offered in South Africa for now.

On the eve of its public debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed this weekend, BMW has officially taken the covers off of the all-new M3 Touring.

The first ever M3 estate in the moniker’s 36 year history, and the first BMW M station wagon since the departure of the V10-powered E60 M5 Touring twelve years ago, the unveiling of the M3 Touring finally ends almost two years of speculative reports, teasers, and release of pre-production images since the August 2020 announcement.

Completing the M3 and M4 line-ups, BMW’s rival for the Audi RS4 Avant and the incoming four-cylinder, electrified Mercedes-AMG C63 uses the M3 Competition as a base, meaning the standard inclusion of the xDrive all-wheel-drive system, the eight-speed Steptronic gearbox with no manual option and outputs of 375kW/650Nm from the S58 3.0-litre turbocharged straight-six engine.

BMW M3 Touring revealed
Two years after being confirmed, the M3 Touring officially serves as the faster, most practical 3 Series ever made.

Equipped with the Active M differential as standard, as well as the Adaptive M suspension, M steering and riding on forged M light alloy wheels measuring 19-inches at the front and 20-inches at the rear, the M3 Touring will get from 0-100 km/h in 3.6 seconds and a reach a limited top speed of 250 km/h.

ALSO READ: BMW teases M3 Touring one last time ahead of 23 June reveal

Able to get from 0-200 km/h in 12.9 seconds, the Touring, like the M3 and M4 Competition, can be specified with the optional M Driver’s Package that ups the restricted V-max to 280 km/h.

Aside from its obvious bodystyle difference from the Sedan and M4, the M3 Touring has been extensively revised from the standard 3 Series Touring in that it measures 76 mm wider (1 903 mm) and 85 mm longer in overall length (4 794 mm), with the wheelbase remaining unchanged.

BMW M3 Touring revealed
Boot space ranges from 500-litres to 1 510-litres.

It’s height dropped by four millimetres to 1 436 mm, the M3 Touring not only sports the much debated kidney grilles at the front, but also the full-LED or optional Laserlight LED headlights, a chrome black diffuser at the rear and a gloss black roof spoiler.

Underneath its now practical skin, the Touring boasts the M aluminium subframe, a five-link rear axle made specifically for it, wishbone, ball joints and torque arms made from aluminium, additional bracing at the base of the body’s centre section and the M exhaust system with quad-exhaust outlets.

Stopping power comes courtesy of the M Compound braking system comprising a six-piston caliper setup at the front and single floating arrangement at the rear.

BMW M3 Touring revealed
Curved Display a standard feature of the interior

As with the M3 Competition and M4 Competition, the M3 Touring can be outfitted with the M carbon ceramic brakes as an option.

Inside, the M3 Touring becomes the latest model to receive the Curved Display set to be rolled-out on the M3 Sedan, M4 and 2 Series Coupe from next month.

Made-up of the 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and the new 14.9-inch iDrive infotainment system with over-the-air-updates, the 8.0 operating system and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, the Touring does however feature a number of model specific touches.

BMW M3 Touring revealed
M Carbon bucket seats can be had as an option.

These consist of M readouts and graphics within the Curved Display, the heated M steering wheel complete with carbon fibre inlays and red M mode buttons, the standard heated and cooled M Sport or optional M Carbon bucket seats, tri-zone climate control, ambient lighting and an optional Harman Kardon sound system.

As for its biggest standout, practically, the M3 Touring’s boot can accommodate 500-litres of luggage with the rear seats up, or 1 510-litres with the 40/20/40 split rear seat folded down.

Available for ordering from September with production set to start two months later, the M3 Touring has been ruled-out for South Africa with no plans afloat to offer it from 2023.

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